Super Bright Headlights are Social Commentary

I go to work pretty early in the morning. The official military time that time of day is "O dark thirty." Basically that's so early it's still dark. I'm not complaining. I'm kind of a morning person and usually I get out of work a little earlier, so it's all good.

However, driving to work in the dark, at least in L.A., can be a bit frustrating. There are people in L.A. who drive around with their bright headlights on. Why? You don't need them in L.A., it's never really dark here. The city lights provide quite a bit of ambient lighting. And even if it was that dark here, you're on the freeway in L.A. The car in front of you is only a few feet away, you don't really need your high beam headlights on. And some folks don't stop there. They get those super bright, so bright they're blue, headlights. You know the ones, the lights that passenger jets use for their landing lights. They have roughly the same candle watt power as the Sun. Yea, those lights. And for some people, that's not even enough. They have their highbeams on, the super-bright-blue lights, AND they have their driving lights on. In California it's illegal to run brights and driving lights, so that means these folks went out of their way to change the wiring of the car to make this happen. Why? Are these folks so challenged to see in the dark that they need extra-ordinary amounts of lumens just to see? If so, I really want these people off the road!

I've been thinking about this for awhile and I'm sure there are many possible reasons for why people do this, but here are a few.
1) People are just clueless. I bet quite a few of those folks have no idea their highbeams are on and that they are blinding everyone else.
2) People just don't care. They know their highbeams are blinding everyone else, and they just don't care. They think it's their right to have their lights as bright as they want. I mean the car manufactures put the brights on the car for reason, right?
3) People are lazy. I'm betting some of the folks have burned out their low beams and have to drive around with their highbeams on, or they won't have any lights at all. It's easier for them to use their highbeams than it is to fix their lights. (You don't even want to know how many cars in L.A. are driving around with multiple idiot lights (warning indicators) flashing on their dashboards - but that's a different post.)

I suspect these three characteristics can be manifested in other areas of people's lives as well. Driving is just one indication of our over all care and concern for other people. Think about the people in your life at work, at school, in the neighborhood, etc. Are we clueless as to how they are doing? Do we not care? Are we just too lazy to do something about it? Those are hard questions we need to ask ourselves. While driving around L.A. with your highbeams on may not seem like the deepest social commentary ever, I do think that the lack of care we show other people in one area of our lives is likely to spill over into other areas of our lives. If we show no concern for others when we are driving, we probably will not show a lot of concern for people in other areas either.

What kind of care do you show for other people? When your driving and at other times too. That's worth pondering about...

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