A dangerous cycle of self-righteousness
I was commuting home from work today (April 14, 2021), on my pedal bike, as I have done for many years, when I was shouted at by a person passing me in a small white car, licence number 3075* (last digit withheld for her privacy, but it is divisible by three, and larger than six).
This person shouted that I was not allowed to ride my bike. I write this to illustrate a common human defect: sanctimoniousness.
Here she was, driving her car in the road, when everyone is supposed to be at home, and I might have assumed that she was flouting the law. But there are many exceptions that would allow her to be driving her car on the public road, such as going grocery shopping; being an essential worker on the way to or from work; going for a Covid test.
She would have assumed that anyone seeing her would accept that she was on the road for one of those legitimate reasons, but never asked herself if I might also have been so. She was just too eager to find fault with someone else, to allow herself to ask that necessary question: “Might this old man, riding his pedal bike, and not spewing out noxious, global warming gases like I am doing, have a legitimate reason for being on the road?”
As already mentioned, I was commuting home — from the healthcare facility where I provide care for my patients. Sorry Ms Sanctimonious, I am allowed to commute on my bicycle, which I do daily. I am not, however, allowed to take the bike out purely for exercise.
To all of the people who did not shout at me today, thank you.