And no, the answer to that is not violent, nor will it make you want to give up on life in helpless desperation.
I’m not the first one to express the importance of being a well-rounded individual in this world and certainly not the last, but it might very well be the first time that I am writing about it here to drive home a point. And I’ll use the metaphor of driving to illustrate it.
Though this is the home of The Everyday Gentleman, the ideas and the motives found here are ones that are inherently within each of us. Or at least can be.
One manifestation of the self-imposed development of my own well-roundedness these days has culminated in my immersion into music—perhaps more so than I have been in the recent past. Now that does not mean I have revived something that was lost; simply put, I’ve committed to taking it more seriously and searching out what I love even deeper: be it new music or my old favorites. Aside from the accessibility of new music—independently or with high production values and that of all genres—one major thing that has helped in this endeavor is the increase of live performances and great venues in Miami. (For me, live shows are incredibly important—for myself and a band’s complete persona—and I have even entertained the idea of scheduling a trip back home around a live show of a favorite artist or band.) But that is another story…
Here in Miami, we’re left to hop into our cars and join the hordes of people who disregard the disclaimers on car commercials. You know the ones: “Professional driver. Do not attempt.” Yeah, that one. Or even worse: we’re forced to sit helplessly in the backseat of a taxi. Although I myself have often opted to drive, there are times where I have to get past my loathing for taxi drivers and just get into one of their Yellow Demon Traps. (What, you don’t know my history with taxi drivers? Take a moment to find out why: here.)
Here’s the thing with taxi drivers: you are forced to trust them, even if reluctantly and against your better judgment. If you’re anything like me, you do so because there is no reason to be there other than the lack of availability of any alternative modes of transportation. You don’t know them and for the most part you’ve never met one twice. Out of all the people I know, not one has professed their love for being in the back of a taxi, bumping around while usually treated shabbily by its driver. But I’m not here to sway your opinion one way or the other. I’m here to let you know that if you ever drive like one, or talk like one, or become as bristly as one—stop everything you are doing. It’s time for an intervention.
Regarding the generalities of taxi drivers, I’m in no way placing blame on—or questioning the motives of—them. What I am doing is asking that we all sit up and take notice. (I understand the irony of that statement, especially when I’m talking about the rank-smelling back seat of a taxi.) Perhaps I am not asking we take notice of taxi drivers, but of ourselves. After all, if you learn one thing about me, having been raised by a taxi driver myself, I can say it’s not fun to be around one.
What do you do if suddenly you find yourself having the manners of a taxi driver? That’s up to you, but I sure hope you check yourself… before—you got it—you wreck yo’self.