• D. Randall Faro

Head Speedbumps

Speedbumps. I detest them. Speedbumps, in general, are a pain in my car’s ass.

They stress a vehicle’s suspension system, especially if noticed too late . . . in which case they jolt the body’s suspension system as well. One of our local high schools has speedbumps two feet high placed every six feet on the lanes and parking lots. To pick up my grandson means slowing down to one half mph to avoid a trip to the chiropractor. Speedbumps also screw up life by making me alter my predetermined time schedules . . . much the same as road-blocking accidents. To repeat myself, I detest them.


Speedbumps. I’m glad they are there. Why? Because they raise awareness of pedestrian-busy areas (especially with children) and necessitate one’s slowing down. They might be a despised pet peeve, but they work. Studies concludes that children living within one block of a speed bump are 50 to 60 percent less likely to be injured by a car, compared to children whose streets don't have the bumps. To repeat myself, I’m glad they are there.


A few “speedbumps” in the head can also save lots of grief. We’re talking about mental constructs that warn a person to slow down, take it easy, ease off the gas. A couple of examples:


Anger. Especially a level of anger that leads to explosions of temper . . . which are almost always destructive to someone. While anger might surface as a natural reaction to something, controlling it – how one reacts to the reaction – is possible and generally highly desirable. It can be done. Judges mandate that some offenders attend anger management clinics to learn how to plant those mental speedbumps.


The mouth . . . and how we use it. There is hardly any area of life where speedbumps are more important. Words, spoken or written, cause more damage than all the speeding vehicles in the world. The quotes are legion, such as: “Don't let your mouth write a check that your tail can't cash.” (Bo Diddley) Speedbumps in this case might be taking deep breaths, taking a walk, or counting to one hundred (or one thousand) before speaking. Be creative. But build a few.


Mental speedbumps. A pain in the you-know-what . . . but absolutely necessary. At least if we’re going to get along with one another.


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