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  • Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

Reading the Signs

With the increase of traffic in modern times, the danger of accidents has also increased. To obviate this danger, various forms of road signs have been put up, for the guidance of motorists. One such sign reads: “Lane driving is sane driving.” Keeping to one’s lane is an effective safeguard against accidents, averting the danger of colliding with other motorcars, and ensuring that one’s journey does not end in disaster.

An article in a British motor magazine by an expert on driving gives some indispensable rules of thumb for drivers. If one is speeding down a main road, for example, and suddenly a ball appears from a side road, one must realize that there is probably a child not far behind it. If one sees the ball, but fails to see the child, one cannot count oneself a good driver. The really good driver stops, not on account of the ball, but on account of the child that he sees with his mind’s eye, running behind the ball. It is the quickness of the driver’s imagination which saves the child from being run over.

The principles we are required to keep in mind while driving are the same as those we should keep in mind on our journey through life. If one wishes, one can learn from the “highway code” the principles that one should follow in the vaster arena of life.

Always confine your activities to your own sphere; if you infringe on the sphere of others, you are sure to clash with them: then your progress will come to an abrupt halt. When certain signs appear on the horizon of society, try to make out what these signs imply. Do not just go by outward signs; try to reach the meaning behind them. If one just goes by what one sees and fails to see what lurks in the background, one will not advance in one’s journey through life. Others, more far-seeing than oneself, will forge ahead, while one falls victim to dangers that could have been avoided if one had read the signs properly.

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