Monkey see monkey do “off the road”

car in the ditch

Driving in the ditch looks benign enough until you end up in dangers which have few warnings besides the ditch itself being, after all, the ditch. Sometimes people fall asleep or simply drive off the road on purpose so as to park, not knowing the dangers they face. Sometimes there’s a monkey see monkey do effect at play with some drivers all too eager to imitate the drivers either ahead or behind them. A LEO can drive near the edge of the road to test the sobriety of the person in front of them and, if that driver is drunk, he’ll start driving on the edge of the road as well. Clockwork. Sometimes people who are talking on the phone or texting get on the bumper of someone and simply mimic the speed and even turns of the car ahead of them, without once fully looking up.

Sometimes people imitate others for the sake of road-rage. Sometimes they do it just to be annoying. This was the case up in Graham County a while back, with the guy following others closely everywhere they went, that is, everyone, it seems, who was not born there, even if they’ve lived there for decades. This gets dangerous in this neck of the woods and so a sting was set up with the Sheriff’s office and the guy was smacked down.

This very following thing was happening to me the other day just at that point on that road in that county (same guy?). He had been on my tail for quite a long time, though staying back 200 yards exactly. The “exactly” thing, regardless of the speed I would go, made me put up my antennae. Meanwhile, I arrived at one of my shut-ins, a Communion Call, a 92 year old, and did a U-Turn some 10 feet into the ditch on the far side of the road so as to park, as is my practice, at that location. Meanwhile, I was watching the rear-view mirror, and the very nanosecond I started the maneuver, the other car did as well, like, without thinking, going fully right into the ditch where he was, but finding out that it wasn’t a great place to do that. Finding himself in trouble in the ditch at that point, he somehow got back on the road and drove past me all sheepish for being such a knucklehead. ;-)

Motivations become muddled with whatever is monkey see monkey do. Analogies can be made with political correctness, going along to get along, proving something to self or others as a reaction to whatever. Whatever! It reminds me a bit of what can happen at a Synod, one of those being on the road things. What we need are people who can just do what they are supposed to do in following Jesus, who went off the road into death, the Exodus (going off the road) in Jerusalem Jesus spoke about with Moses and Elijah during His transfiguration.

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