Part Two: Amish Buggies Have Every Right to the Road

Jul 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm
If there's anything more annoying than being stuck behind a slow-moving granny during your morning commute, surely it's being stuck behind an Amish in a horse-drawn buggy. Why the heck should we have to share our roads with a Mennonite in a pony-and-cart thingamabob incapable of going 45 mph, much less the proper 65? WE HAVE TO GET TO WORK!

click to enlarge Ah, tranquility!
Ah, tranquility!
But there's a real answer to this most rhetorical of questions, and it has less to do with respecting other cultures -- though that's important, of course -- and more about respecting ourselves.

Let's face it. When we're rushing from home to work, to the gym, to happy hour, to dinner, to nightcap, only to stagger exhaustedly back home to start the cycle anew, we're not doing ourselves any favors.

We're moving too fast these days. We're racing from one activity to another. We're multitasking like bumblebees on crystal meth.

Indeed, the National Highway Safety Administration reports that more than 13,000 Americans die every year from speeding.

So what if a buggy in the road means we need to slow down? In this frantic age, we literally do need to slow down!

Despite what my colleague asserts
, we could learn a lot from our Amish brothers.

Back at the time when the Amish decided to stand athwart history and yell "STOP!", people didn't eat their breakfast on the way to work. They didn't text and they didn't apply mascara at stoplights.

They focused on what they were doing. And if they were feeling really wild, well, maybe they chewed a blade of grass laconically while they were doing it.

Rather than seeing every Yoder in his buggie as a roadbump, sitting in the way of our desire to be at the next place, now, we should see it as a reminder from the Man Upstairs: a call to slow down, to breathe deeply, and maybe even to smell the road apples.

We'll all feel better for it.

Read a counterargument in Part One of today's Tuesday Tussle.