• 54°

Life’s turns and blind spots

Last week we began a stream of consciousness on an analogy of life as a highway. It was just like yesterday, I was excited knowing that I was about to get my driver’s license. Like any 16-year-old, a driver’s license gives you a sense of accomplishment and independence, so you think. I left home nervous that morning because I had heard so many rumors from classmates about the difficulty of the testing process. Stories had been shared on how it had been designed that one would automatically fail the first attempt.
As the instructor and I drove through the historic district, I was told to turn on Mabry Street and when clear, to make a three-point turn. Why Mabry? First, it was a quiet street that had little traffic. If we are going to make three-point turns in our lives, it must take place during those times when we are at peace with ourselves. Such turns cannot be made when the streets are too narrow or if there are distractions. Therefore, it is always good to set aside a time when you can reach a state of tranquility and only then decide what areas in your life need a three point turn.
Secondly, there were no parked vehicles on Mabry Street. This ensured that we would be easily seen by other vehicles traveling on that particular street. In other words, we are especially vulnerable to approaching traffic when our vehicle or life is making a three-point turn while on the road. Opening up our lives is necessary, but also dangerous. To share our vulnerability is to run the risk of being injured by those who do not appreciate the road. The instructor specifically knew that Mabry Street was an okay street for a vulnerable vehicle. In turn, this means all streets are not like Mabry. Chances are slim that three point turns will be made on Broad Street.  The risks are so much greater.  There is more traffic and they are traveling at greater speeds.
Thirdly, the instructor and I were driving down Dallas Avenue when he asked me to change lanes. I had tremendously prepared for this part of the test. With confidence, I put on my signal light and then checked my rear view and side mirrors for traffic. I believe my next move sealed the test; I looked over my shoulder to check my blind spot. This is another vulnerable place in life. A lot of life’s accidents can be avoided if we check those areas where things can go unnoticed. The instructor smiled and told me to go back to the office to get my license. In life, three-point turns and blind spots make us vulnerable, but it is such vulnerability that gives us a license to live.

Rep.-elect Darrio Melton will represent Dallas County in the Alabama Legislature.