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No matter which side you stand with, we always find some issues of interest to us and before one knows it, we find ourselves drawn into the middle of the debate. There are always issues arising that are worth giving an ear to and our mind as well. While many of us do not really understand the cause of a motion because we more often tend to be overtaken by mob thinking, it is worth pondering on things a bit more consciously and try to understand its motive and what is at stake for us.

I say this because I saw two weeks ago an astoundingly large number of people denouncing the new traffic law along side with Addis Ababa taxi drivers, the very individuals citizens usually blame for deadly road accidents. Instead of showing solidarity with the law, many opted to be against it and make even more confusion, you understand what I mean. Some three years ago, I decided to retire from diving because of the terrible traffic and now I take out my car when it is necessary and at moments when the roads are less congested. Of course, that limit does not include Sunday driving when the roads are so calm. This helped me a great deal to shake off my frustration that I might run over a pedestrian or get smashed by some crazy heavy truck driver and it confirmed to me that sometimes giving up some routines could be reliving.

Motorist, particularly, taxi drivers have a pretty good reason to object the law. Observing how motorists drive around, you cannot help feeling that they have taken swear to be chaotic and death mongers. Remember, for instance, the moment you were prone to injury losing you foothold when getting on or off a taxi because the driver started moving before you are done. Or the moment the car you are ridding in or another car on the road was drawn to the verge of a serious accident because another car overtakes or changes lane without taking care. Or a scene of a stranded pedestrian lying on the road hit by a car that drove away. It seems that most drivers never step away from offenses and it is no wonder they cry foul when they hear the news, news of a stringent law. Of course, there are few well-disciplined drivers who are equally victimized by the notorious motorists.

Considering the level of danger that lurks out on our roads, citizens should have welcomed the new law  with open arms

Considering the level of danger that lurks out on our roads, citizens should have welcomed the new law with open arms, but instead, it was countered by a mass protestation. What surprises me utmost is the objection by pedestrians who blindly fall prey to the ambitions of some greedy motorist. Are not they the very people who resentfully denounce the drivers for bad driving habits? Are not they the ones that complain of lenient laws and regulators?
What I sensed from those reactions is that many of us are consumed by herd thinking, the situation when one is made to stand besides an idea without knowing the real derivers of the cause. I could not help thinking but many people have lost their rationality and have just become rubber stamp followers.

In the first place, jumping in on the side of an opposition and shouting vehemently at the other group does not make an issue become any better or give sound answer to the question. Instead, citizens should explore what is at stake. They should be mindful, investigate the contesting ideals, recognize the downside and the opportunities that present themselves and make informed decisions that make their lives better and less risk prone. Being a rubber stamp does not help. Neither does it help to be a blind opponent to laws, perhaps because we have some garage over some pervious law that disfavored us. We should not let our past emotions to blind us today and make us take wrong decisions. Instead, it is advisable to be rational and fight tactfully to win our cause every time an issue of particular interest is up for debate.

It also seems wise to take a step back and ask yourself what is in an issue for you and how you can achieve that. In the business of everyday life, it is important to reconfirm whether you are following the right track and go after your ideals, not others egoist motions. Living in a city that is leading from Africa for traffic accidents, I welcome such laws, I even feel that it is way too overdue. Having a clear mind what you are after helps fulfill you ambition. No one can afford jumping on one side of a debate over an issue thoughtlessly and being pulled away in any direction and losing track and, at the end, the purpose of life. It is essential that people are rational, have a clear vision and act accordingly. If you do not, you certainly will exhaust yourself and become demotivated and kill the very driver of your life — ambition.
So next time an issue is argued on, ask yourself whether your ideals are well represented in the argumentation. Sometimes, our priorities and concerns might shift overtime and we ought to know which side we should stand with.