Every morning I drive my wife to work, smack in the center of Bucharest.
The streets are narrow and full of potholes, for a couple of days the weather was lousy, the radio was belching horrible news about what’s going on in Ukraine yet for sometime now I found a strong reason for being optimist.
I realized driving habits have changed in a very subtle but extremelly significant way. People have understood that mutual respect works a lot better than sheer aggression: they honk a lot less, let others merge into traffic, do not ‘herd’ into bottlenecks as they used to…
In fewer words people have learned that considerate cooperation gets you farther than mindless competition.
Now I’m watching closely for signs of this new attitude being displayed in other circumstances.
For my American and Western European readers this must sound like hogwash, being used with the courteous driving practiced in their respective countries. They should take into consideration that this development has come about spontaneously, the police or any other agency having (almost) nothing to do with the process. People simply understood, individually, that in this manner all of us will get sooner to our destination.
On second thoughts … In fact decent competition, the kind that takes place according to rules, is just another form of cooperation. Even war waged according to the Hague convention can be seen as a form of cooperation…
Please notice how everybody takes care of those around them. Do they really care about the ‘other guy’? I honestly don’t know and I openly admit that I don’t really care. But the fact remains that they act as if they do and the consequence is that traffic never gets bogged down.