Life is Like Driving on the Highway

by M D Zigo
(Copenhagen, Denmark)

Inspirational Writing : Life is Like Driving on the Highway

Inspirational Writing : Life is Like Driving on the Highway

My seven-year-old daughter once asked me, "Daddy, what is life? What does it mean?" We were on our way home from a trip in the city, about to join a major highway. I was driving and singing, while my daughter sat beside me, seemingly engrossed in YouTube videos.

Little did I know that she was also listening to me sing a song I had composed years ago, a song about life. The lyrics went like this:
In my youth, life appeared beautiful,
But as I matured, I discovered its ugliness.

Once, life seemed sweet,
Yet adulthood revealed its bitterness.

Oh, life! What are you truly?
Oh, life! I am ignorant of your essence.

Her question did not surprise me. However, I was unprepared for a response. Although I knew the scientific definition of life, I believed it was insufficient to simply share that life entails growth and eventual demise. I desired my daughter to comprehend that life encompasses actions, emotions, values, thoughts, and relationships, among other facets. Following the initial definitions, I continued:

"Life is much more. It is a gift that must be embraced, not cast aside. It is a game to be played, an adventure filled with challenges. It is a tragedy that must be faced, an opportunity to be seized, and a promise to be fulfilled. It is also a puzzle, a mystery, and a struggle."

My daughter listened attentively, her curiosity piqued. I further explained:

"Life is comparable to driving on a highway."

"Driving on a highway?" she interrupted, radiating happiness and excitement.

"Yes," I agreed, surprised by her enthusiasm.

"Excellent. We are entering the highway. Prove to me that life is akin to driving on the highway," she challenged.

I found myself in a predicament as my seven-year-old daughter requested an explanation of my analogy. How was I to fulfill her request? I accelerated and began:

"First and foremost, what is a highway? It is a busy road with multiple lanes, often the quickest route between two cities. It consists of lanes traveling in each direction.

Driving entails decision-making. Rules exist to ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience, safeguarding your well-being and that of others on the same highway. Driving requires courage, patience, respect, consideration, and knowledge. You do not want to inconvenience the multitude of individuals utilizing the highway.

Let us assume that the highway symbolizes your journey through life, from birth to death. Let it also symbolize embarking on a new career, pursuing education, or undertaking a significant project. Furthermore, let the cars on the highway represent the people you encounter in life – family, friends, neighbors, strangers. On the highway, you drive in close proximity to them, just as you interact with these individuals in life. Your actions will impact them.

To navigate the highway, you must know your destination. Obey the rules to ensure a safe journey. Entering the highway has its own set of rules. Maintain a safe lane and appropriate speed. Stay in your lane until ready to change. Respect the speed limits. Utilize your mirrors and indicate your intentions when changing lanes.

Avoid obstructing traffic. If you cannot maintain the minimum speed limit, position your vehicle appropriately to allow others to pass.

You can take risks, exceeding the maximum speed limit to reach your destination sooner. However, remember that there are consequences. An accident may occur, or you may attract the attention of law enforcement, resulting in the confiscation of your license.

Stay focused on the road. Avoid distractions such as phone usage or texting while driving, as they can compromise your safety. Refrain from driving when sick, tired, intoxicated, or impaired. Rest if you feel fatigued, as exhaustion hinders performance in life. Inform others of any accidents or hazards encountered.

Above all, be respectful. Maintain composure and do not take anything personally. Other drivers may cut you off, just as people in life may do the same. Do not internalize their actions, for you are unaware of their mental state. They may simply be making a mistake unintentionally.

My dear, I could go on endlessly. The underlying message is to live your life as if driving on a highway. Be aware of your destination, choose your path, and change lanes judiciously. Know the rules and utilize them to your advantage. Recognize when to take risks, while considering the repercussions.

In Shakespeare's words:

'Life is a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more.
It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.'

Remember this: Life may appear meaningless, but make it count. It is fleeting. Make it remarkable and meaningful, for yourself and others. Leave a lasting impact before your journey concludes. People will remember your actions, and if you lead an exemplary life, they may follow in your food steps.

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May 29, 2024

by: M D

I am inspired. Thank you!

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