resume / work samples / contact / home

Slow down and live
By David Kashimba

I recently witnessed an accident. I had just finished teaching a class at San Francisco State University and was walking to where I had parked my car. There were a few hundred students with the same idea, so the crosswalk at 19th Ave. and Holloway had to be crossed a section at a time. In the middle of the sections there are two sets of railway tracks and a bus stop for Muni railway commuters.

I was waiting at the crosswalk, near the Muni railway stop, when the light turned green for the pedestrians. There were quite a few people in front of me, but I saw a tall young woman step off the curb into the crosswalk. Then I heard screeching brakes, a thud, and I saw the woman’s body flip into the air, smash against the car’s windshield and bounce onto the street in front of the now stopped vehicle.

Two people immediately ran to phone for an ambulance. A few others and I tried to assist the victim. I was amazed that she was still conscious. She attempted to get up. We talked to her, trying to calm her down and asked her to lie still until the ambulance came.

The campus police were the first to arrive. A minute or two later a San Francisco squad car arrived followed by an ambulance. Response times of everyone involved and emergency care were excellent.

When the medics placed a stretcher under the victim and carried her to the ambulance, I looked at the driver of the car for the first time. He held onto the steering wheel with both hands and stared at his shattered windshield. He too was a victim.

He was a victim of a rampant disease infecting American cities. The disease hasn’t received an official name yet, but I call it the “hurrying life” disease. I’m sure that most of us have had some experience with it. Whenever I’m stopped at a traffic light on a city street, I don’t pull into the intersection as soon as the light turns green. Instead, I wait until at least two or three cars run the red light before I cautiously pull out.

What’s the hurry? I honestly don’t know. Perhaps the disease is caused by an infection from our high-tech society.

Is anything gained by hurrying life? By definition, “hurrying life,” means to die sooner than those that don’t hurry life. This sounds like a tragic loss to me, but the greatest tragedy is the innocent victims that cross the paths of those infected by the disease.

But there is hope. Infected people can cure themselves. All they have to do is stop at red and amber lights and try to live life a little slower. The benefits are enormous. Not only will they live longer, they will also experience life more fully.

resume / work samples / contact / home