Crossroads & Roundabouts


I’ve never quite clearly understood the true purpose of making roundabouts on junctions.

As human beings , we are all about survival. Self preservation is a natural instinct and that’s why perhaps traffic lights work , for at least most of us. Discipline via the stick is achieved much better than carrot in the social behavior because come to think of it , we can’t be rewarded for displaying expected behavior. Only the offenders , those who don’t comply to ‘rules’ are singled out , rest go on with their normal lives. Just like the traffic movement at cross junction.

But that’s not the case with roundabouts. I find them chaotic , each trying to get the best of other one.

I tried to ask my husband & it’s always interesting to learn his very practical approach to things. Time saving, he said was the benefit. But when people are just trying to get on top of one another how can that be the larger point. The answer to that was right of way . Everyone is expected to behave in their best possible manner & we’ll have ourself the roundabout that works like clockwork.

That to me is as idealistic as having perfect relationships which I believe in todays age and time are only limited to Facebook walls and having the most boring day on social media [ twitter to be specific] .

Traffic lights are like professional communication or at least the one that we have in the offline world. We appear patient and understanding till its our turn and we call that a dialogue .Now you and I both know how that’s only conforming to norms or putting up appearances . Everyone involved is at best mildly satisfied. Doesn’t make sense?

Well how about our relationships in the outside world ? They follow some unwritten rules , unstated guidelines . when not followed it often leaves the parties involved inconvenienced and in worse case scenarios could cause unforeseen accidents.So yes, traffic lights , just like dialogues in communication and linear approach to relationships is what  works for everyone on the surface.

But roundabouts are like social media interactions. The right of way is left to interpretation and survival of the fittest works beautifully .Roundabouts are  also a bit like our relationships with friends. They aren’t linear and don’t have [ at least not too many] rules and hence it doesn’t matter if you have one friend or a whole gang , some days you are getting taken over and on others someone else is but this arrangement is hugely more satisfying to the ‘chaos’ seeker in you.But strange enough , I’d consider my husband to be the more rational one and he prefers roundabouts and I am all for traffic lights . But  in light of that piece of information none of my analysis and inferences make any sense .

What I’ve concluded is that traffic is the greatest equalizer . Not just across economic classes , the Porsche waits at the signal along with a rickshaw too , but also across behaviors. When at traffic lights we have no option but to be patient and at roundabouts we make way of ourselves aggressively or cautiously depending on our state of mind at that point of time.

I think I am beginning to really understand the purpose of traffic lights and roundabouts in life a tad bit.

So tell me are you at a traffic light right now in life , in blogging , in relationships or at work ? or just about to bulldoze your way around a roundabout?



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