Srđan Šaper: Blinker

Read the text Blinker, which Srđan Šaper wrote for Hemofarm Foundation blog within the project "How to preserve the heart of society?".

In the past few years, I have noticed that a thing which used to be a sporadic phenomenon has now become a commonplace – drivers no longer use blinker, they start, make a turn, stop, overtake and, unfortunately, many of them, so many that we can call them majority, don’t even think of notifying other participants in the traffic.

It makes me sad, I must say that I feel it so, it does not irritate me, neither makes me angry, nor worried, it just makes me sad. It means that my colleague, driver of another car, a participant in a traffic like myself, no longer notices me, doesn’t think I am worthy of his attention, he does not care if any of his actions will surprise me, he does not care how his decision will affect me.

Why don’t they use their blinker?

They think it’s tiresome? They don’t think they owe it to anyone? They don’t want anyone to know what they think? They don’t care about others? They don’t feel that they belong to a whole larger than the one which they and their car make? They aren’t afraid of the police? They don’t not care to comply with the rules unless they have to, and they have concluded that they don’t have to comply with this one? They don’t think that there are any reasons for the rules to exist except to bother them? They don’t think there should be rules in general? They choose when they will be in solidarity with others, the stipulated solidarity doesn’t suit them? All together and a bit more?

Or, reading this text, they would say – so many words about something absolutely irrelevant while there are many other, more important things. And these more important things are exactly why I don’t bother with using blinker.

However, it seems to me that society exists only if we follow the social contract, if we show respect for the reason for which each of us must be deprived of some of our comfort and the maximum of our freedom so that we can live and work with others. A society in which there is no longer a reason for voluntary cooperation for the common benefit is a society that annuls itself. Or it cancels its future. Such a society, and ours is obviously more and more like that, becomes just a group of individuals held together only by force or force of a national or authoritarian myth.

To give a lot, perhaps to ask for enough, you need to start with the minimum - respecting the one next to you, being polite, respecting someone else's time, listening to others, using your blinker with joy. Because fortunate societies are the ones in which everybody works hard, persistently and continuously works on the things that are beneficial for everyone as a whole, not for individuals.

The original text can be found at:

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