Editorial: “The zipper rule”
March 13, 2012
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Admittedly, I learned this rule from my parents, not Saker’s Driving School. That being said, I wish more people knew about it…or at least caught on to it. I’m talking about this one rule of traffic that makes for both efficiency and courtesy. It’s called the “zipper rule.” When cars are coming from different directions let one go from the left, one from the right, and so on. It is simply what’s known as “common courtesy.”
What motivated me to write this editorial is the people who do not help the traffic flow and overall camaraderie of the parking lots. The scenario goes like this: a driver has an opportunity to let you go (usually after someone else just let them go ahead). They look at you through the window with an expression that says “I’m NOT letting you go.” Then they hit the gas and revel in the glory of inconveniencing you. It’s unfriendly and it’s unnecessary. According to the Golden Rule, that driver would have been mad if you had cut them in line. It’s also just rudimentary: cutting in line has been a rude and personal offense since kindergarten.
There are many similar acts that compare to what the zipper rule represents: letting someone with less groceries go ahead of you in line, holding a door, or helping carry an elderly person’s shopping bags. These are simple acts of kindness that show a lot about a person’s character. It isn’t hard to do any of these things, but it’s also not convenient to. In the real world, competition and everything that goes along with that (money, power, status) makes people really narrow-minded; but it’s important to hold onto the ethics and ideals that represent a good person. Some call it being a good Christian, some call it karma, but when it comes down to it it’s just helping the people you’re sharing the world with.
The only solution I can conceive is one of compassion. If you weren’t armored by windows and doors, would you still give someone the stink eye and steer ahead of him or her, especially if you potentially would be faced with confrontation? More often than not, if you cut in front of someone when walking inside a building, you say ‘excuse me’ or ‘sorry.’ Just think about that the next time you want to get ahead in already slow Titan Trail traffic.