Am I Driving?

[thoughts from     ~burning woman~    by Sha’Tara]

There’s an old joke that goes something like this: two old ladies, Amy and Blanche, are out for a Sunday afternoon drive in Amy’s mint 1958 Caddy. As they push on down Main Street, Amy, who’s the passenger today, notices they drove through a red light. She cringes, says nothing and they proceed to go through two more red lights, at which point Amy can’t stand it any longer and says, “Blanche, do you realize you just drove through three red lights in a row?” Blanche looks around and says, “Oh my, am I driving?”

Am I driving? When one is in a car it seems that such a question would be of paramount importance. The funny, or sad, part of this story is, we’re all born ‘in a car’ or maybe better put, in a ship, and really, we’re all supposed to be driving, or piloting. Except for children and those of severely diminished mental capacity, there are no passengers on spaceship earth.

So why are so many of us continually going through red lights and paying no attention? Well, because we’ve come to believe that we could delegate the job of piloting the ship to certain individuals who claimed some sort of right to that position and we’ve grown used to the idea that it isn’t “me” who is driving through that red light, but the one I voted for. If the ship manages to survive as it blasts its way through shoals of meteorites and no real damage ensues, we hail our elected captain as a hero. If there is damage, we can always blame the guy. I’m not driving the ship of state, he is, or she is.

If you voted for those people and put them in power, doesn’t that make you responsible? The answer usually is, well, yes, but only at voting time. After that I’ve got no say in the matter. That’s the deal, you see? If I don’t like the job they’re doing in piloting the ship I get to vote them out next time around.

What if by then they’ve turned the ship into a hulk floating through space with hardly any life support systems working?

Not to worry, it’s never been that bad. It’s a big ship. It’s made it through billions of years, it’s got a lot of mileage left in it.

So, what’s all the bitching about then? What about changing circumstances in and around the ship which some claim could mean the ship is going to run out of fuel; the shielding could fail; life support systems shut down?

I wouldn’t worry about it. We’ve always had the doomsayers and conspiracy theorists. The problem is the Internet and speeded up communication that allows these fear mongerers to spread their sick ideas. There’s nothing wrong with the ship. Those in control say we’re on course and all is well. I for one believe them. I got to believe in something, right?

But isn’t it true that there is a lot more chaos and conflict aboard the ship recently than there was, say, a hundred years ago?

It’s all relative. More people, more conflict. It’s natural see? Nothing to worry about.

If you were voted in as captain of your section of the ship what would you do differently?

Oh, I don’t know. I’d like to see those in power given more power to do what they want to do. As things stand, there’s too much emphasis on diversity. We need more centralized power. More power gives you more control. That’s what I’d want.

I see. More of what you already have, right? Can I quote you on that last bit?

You bet, and you’ve given me an idea: maybe I should take a stab at becoming the driver.

38 thoughts on “Am I Driving?

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      That’s about the size of it, at least from my perspective. The truly amazing part is, most of us are still alive…

  1. kertsen

    Absolutely everyone driving to their own instructions so the overall effect is a survival struggle. Human beings have such diverse ambitions that they must necessarily clash and have little common ground. I often hear it said how wise the communal insects are living in regimented order and group harmony. This is true but they achieve this because they are not intelligent.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      I don’t know, Kertsen. I don’t think most people are driving at all, or if they are, they are using those old-style pedal cars kids used to drive around – no real power. The ones who drive are the leaders and rulers, and as Frank points out, in our democracies they are the lobbyists, the curse of the age. IMO anyway. Thanks for commenting!!! 😉

      1. kertsen

        Some non- descripts like me don’t have any world disturbing effects but heavy weights like Trump can cause chaos . It proves the very point I make on Jill’s blog all men are not equal some cause more trouble than others. You know the scripture ‘ to whom much is given much is expected ‘ unfortunately much is given sometimes to some amoral characters.

  2. Woebegone but Hopeful

    Good points Sha’ Tara.
    I’d suggest based the historical records and actions and reactions, over centuries, that everyone is driving, but trying to go in different directions at different speeds.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for the comment, Roger. As I pointed out to Kertsen, IMO I think there is a tiny class of self-appointed drivers and the rest of the sheeple either sleep on the bus, in the back seat, or have a little steering wheel attached to the back rest of the front seat but not connected to anything which they spin wildly left and right while making the “brrrrooooom, vroom!” sounds with a lot of spit to sound impressive but nothing comes of it. If the self-appointed want a war, a war there will be. If they want to destroy the planet, the planet will be destroyed. The sheeple will comply, agree, ignore, disagree but fight each other over that, and there’s your history – barring the odd violent and bloody revolutions that have amounted to nothing at all. As I say, IMO and from my viewpoint. No one, it seems, wants to even consider taking personal responsibility for the whole thing. But if I don’t, why should I expect anyone else to do it? Then comes the whole conundrum of what it actually means for an individual essentially poor and powerless to choose to take responsibility for the entire planet.  Is it hubris, madness, or can some sense be made of it?

      1. Woebegone but Hopeful

        In my youth (ahh) I read Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy and was much taken with the idea he proposed of being able to predict the future of Humanity based on examination of the interactions of billions of beings through a system termed ‘psychohistory’.
        Whereas I didn’t embrace the whole premise(s) of the series it did leave an impression on me. The more I read of history the more I concluded that even if one or a few people decide they are in control, this is only ephemeral, because they cannot control each and every single action of each and every single person. In short there are many variables. Each person in ‘power’ is going to fail or fall at some stage.
        Regrettably as we are flawed creatures the flaws multiply as each interacts with another; this at times makes for a malignancy.
        There are of course many suggested solutions and folk who think it is their responsibility to assume the mantle of leadership, because theirs is the ‘true and only way’.
        We may make it through to a brighter age, but I fear this will only to achieved through more trial and error. It could be said from an World History historical perspective that 10,000 years is barely a fraction of a fraction of one blink and there is time enough. Problem there is the fossil record has enough evidence of catastrophic events, and we might well be one.
        In the meantime I will try to do the best by my own family, the WP community and…and?

      2. Woebegone but Hopeful

        Yes there’s a problem.
        Probably try and ‘do my best’ without inadvertently making things worse for someone else…Which considering the current state of human nature is always a big problem.

      3. Woebegone but Hopeful

        Yes Discernment. Nothing worthwhile comes without hard work

  3. Phil Huston

    I have a new catch-all word that encompasses, and answers, most of the questions this epistle asked. Avarice. On every front. I want more me, less responsibilty. You do it. Okay, I want more control, more stuff, more, more more…As they climb the ladder of Avarice more is not enough. More more. More more more. All along the line those who have met their limit of more and believe they ahve enough abdicate to those who haven’t. The balance of power between an idividual or group or continent’s leadership enough/more ratio. And enough is never enough if there’s more. Anywhere. Avarice. The one word answer.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      From “The Free Dictionary”


      *1.* avarice – reprehensible acquisitiveness*avarice* – reprehensible acquisitiveness; insatiable desire for wealth (personified as one of the deadly sins) avaritia , greed , rapacity , covetousness deadly sin , mortal sin – an unpardonable sin entailing a total loss of grace; “theologians list seven mortal sins”

      *2.* avarice – extreme greed for material wealth*avarice* – extreme greed for material wealth avariciousness , cupidity , covetousness greed – excessive desire to acquire or possess more (especially more material wealth) than one needs or deserves

      Yes, that certainly fits. Thanks for that “heads up” Phil. I think it’s rather well illustrated in your own story of Bobby B and the merry, murderous chase for the two million dollars.

      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        Your choice of word in this case is impeccable.  Now to translate Shera’s comment on avarice.

      2. Phil Huston

        Corruption at every level except the kid with the briefcase and the girl who wants to leave TNA behind. And she even steals a pizza. I guess nobody remembers Hitchcock greats like North by Northwest or The Man Who Knew Too Much, where average guy ends up in the middle of corrupt whirlwind…Not that I’m Hitch by any means, but there it is, social commetary, moral justifications, corruption. All wrapped in a silly story about a kid working in a hot rod shop to learn about people…Let’s hope he did.

      3. Phil Huston

        Those are Hitch movies. He did produce a pulp short story mgazine I read in my youth. T*ts n As* is a form of camera work used in visual presentations like TV and Movies and Music Vids and Advertising. Investigate why the coke bottle is shaped the way it is and that will take you through a century of sexism through Marilyn Monroe and Barbie to Charlie’s Angels to Empire to the mythical Monterrey Mick’s. Bathrobes and bikinis and short shorts, none of which are required to tell the story, but are omnipresent.

      4. Phil Huston

        Hitch was a little more forward, like a female spy, but still doing the rescue me bit. Bond? Sheeeeeesh. Gratuitous TNA look no further than Bech Blanket Bingo! WHOLESOME sexist gender role modeling!

      5. Sha'Tara Post author

        BBB-1965 brain dead garbage, one of seven, and some people wonder how America got to Trump… follow those pink footprints. 

      6. sherazade

        sono anche io d’accordo con questo argomento sulla avarizia fermo restando che rimane sempre una percentuale seria di rischio individuale anche per L’avaro…


      7. Sha'Tara Post author

        Quote: “sono anche io d’accordo con questo argomento sulla avarizia fermo restando che rimane sempre una percentuale seria di rischio individuale anche per L’avaro…” Ah… did not translate very well, but I got the gist. Thanks for your comment, Shera.

  4. franklparker

    And then there are the back seat drivers – the lobbyists telling the pilot which direction in which to steer the ship. They are the real problem unless the direction they propose is the one ‘we’ want to travel.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for commenting, Helen. The “elites” want us to feel powerless and helpless so we will continue to rely on them to steer, even when we know we’re heading for the proverbial iceberg.

  5. katharineotto

    I can only hope to drive my own life and stay out of everyone else’s way. Literally, I noticed the other day how well we’ve adapted to automobiles, such that there are so many on the road and so few (relatively) accidents. There is hope for cooperation, maybe, before we destroy ourselves. It helps that we agree on the basic safety rules.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for your comment, Katharine. Speaking of driving, indeed I agree with you. I’m always amazed that however “bad” current driving habits seem to be, there is much less observable road carnage than I was used to witnessing when I began driving. Mega head-ons were common, along with bodies strewn over pavement, especially at highway crossings. I wonder if it’s because of better designed intersections and streets or just some intuitive smart that has become a part of our brain…

      1. katharineotto

        You’ve seen more bad accidents than I have, so I’m glad you’re seeing an improvement. I suspect the cause is multi-factorial: safer cars, more experienced drivers, safer roads and signage, even if there’s more traffic, which probably also slows people down. At least it’s an example that we humans can cooperate, learn, and grow. Even if we don’t know where we’re going, we’re getting there faster than ever.

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Quote: “Even if we don’t know where we’re going, we’re getting there faster than ever.”  Indeed… great comment 😉

      3. katharineotto

        Thanks. I was thinking about the great homogenization, such as the same big-box stores and McDonalds in every community. It seems that eventually we won’t need to go anywhere, because every place will be the same. Cars will be obsolete.

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