This is my first post. I’m trying this place out coming from another place (ahem, CData) which, to me, is way too heavy-handed with the level of moderation. I like to debate the issues passionately, not looking to be ugly to anyone personally, but I like to debate the issues passionately and with sometimes colorful phrases and comparisons. Hopefully I’m OK here.
Anyway, my topic today: funeral processions, and that (silly to me) southern tradition of pulling over when you see one out of “respect.” Simply put, I don’t, because to me the roads are all about getting where you’re going PERIOD and it strikes me as silly that I should be compelled to pull over out of “respect” for someone I didn’t know from Steve, and again right in the middle of my commute to work etc. I can always just go to the funeral itself or visit the home of the family if I’m feeling like being reverential and offering condolences etc. If others want to pull over, that’s fine, but give me room to head on down the road and don’t act like I’m Kim Jong Ill or whoever for not honoring the tradition.
No, I don’t “cut in” on the line or such of a procession which is already there, but if the procession isn’t “upon me” yet but I see it coming, I get on out of there with all the urgency of a bomb threat. I don’t want to get tangled up in the mess. I high tail it out of there while others, if they’ve noticed it, are pulling over and I assume looking at me thinking I’m the biggest scab in the world.
I first saw this in NC, where I was born and raised, and I didn’t care for it then. I now live in TX and don’t care for it here either. My argument has always been this–first, such reverence is supposed to be voluntary, not compulsory, either in the form of guilt-tripping or even deliberately blocking someone to MAKE them not leave. Just like it would be wrong for someone to snatch your money from you and put it in the pot at the Salvation Army during Christmas when you declined a donation or to guilt-trip you into giving, the same goes here.
Second, what sense does it make if I didn’t know the person? Someone dies everyday in most decent-sized cities. Am I supposed to pull over for all of them? Wouldn’t that cause it to lose its meaning after awhile? I’m sorry, but life goes on.
Third, as I earlier said, if one is looking to be “reverential,” to me it would be far more meaningful of an act to actually attend the funeral where they can see your face, feel your touch, and hear your voice vs just seeing a car pulled over. Or one could stop by the home of the family and offer their sympathies. Wouldn’t either one be far more meaningful?
As for the usual reply of “how self-centered” or “you can’t spare 5 minutes?” First, I think if any view is self-centered, it’s the one that says someone else’s grief means the whole entire area around you has to stop whether it’s really meaningful or not, with no regards to their time. Second, my time is MY TIME, and like many others my time is very valuable. 5 minutes on the road seems like an eternity when you’re in a hurry, and some processions are known to eat up much more time than that.
When I say to people that this is how I feel, they act like I just insulted Kate Middleton in Buckingham Palace. To me it’s perfectly logical thinking. It doesn’t mean I have no compassion, I’m one who would be very likely to stop by the family’s house or such and offer sympathy etc–I’m just not interested in doing it on the road.