Unfolding plans 140 – be mindful of others

A couple of days ago I was telling you about Lee and his stories.  His tale of children and coasts tugged on a few strings.  It brought back memories of childhood, happiness, helplessness and an innocence lost.  It gets me every time I hear it (and I’ve heard it a few times now!).

He has been using another story as well.  Indeed he has been using a few but I’m going to tell you another.  It is about the infamous Thinford Roundabout.  If you’ve ever been anywhere near Spennymoor then you are likely to know all about it.  It is only a circle after all yet it has caused more than its share of concern.

Lee and I had had got together for a meeting to plan for this round of presentations.  We talked about how the theme would be trust and understanding.  We agreed what each other would do and how the presentations would pan out.  Lee was going to use an excellent animation that he had created for a previous talk he gave.

After that meeting, it was at Meadowfield, Lee had to drive through the aforementioned roundabout.  The thing is that it is a quite complicated junction.  It is the crossing of two major roads, one main artery going north / south and the other going east /west.  In addition though there is a junction to the new Durham Gate business park.  All the roads are busy.  There are garages and eating places adjacent to the site and it can be a task to make sure you are in the right lane.  It’s easy once you know your way around, or perhaps let’s leave it that it is easier.  If you are not from round here then it can be quite daunting.

So Lee is in the right hand lane to go round the roundabout and make his way back up towards Spennymoor.  A car pulls up alongside him and as the lights turn to green the car beside him drifts over into his lane and cuts him off.

For most men this would have been a red rag to a bull but not for Lee. Most men would have blasted their horn, gesticulated threateningly and shouted obscenities at the offending driver but not Lee.  He’d been around Thinford many a time and knew just how awkward it can be to navigate.  He had half expected the car to do something like that.  He was well prepared and remained the model of pacificity.

The moment passed without further incident yet later on the same day the whole area around Thinford became blocked when two cars collided with each other.  One of them burst into flames and the occupants were rushed into hospital.  I’m not sure whether they were badly injured or not but the ensuing traffic chaos made the local news.  Clearly in this incident neither of the drivers was as courteous as Lee had been.  Neither had foreseen the misunderstanding that could have, and ultimately did arise.

How many times have you been driving around somewhere that you have never been to before and an irate driver has blown their horn at you as you struggled to make your way to where you were going?  It has happened to me many times.  Not once has it made me a better driver.  Never has it made me feel better about the people of that town.  It has only made me angrier, upset and resentful.

The theme of the presentation was trust and understanding and Lee’s story made the point well.  Not everyone understands what they are doing.  Not everyone is familiar with the circumstances in which they find themselves.  Let’s all show a little human compassion.

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