Tuesday, 18 June 2013

With great power...

Spiderman's uncle told him: with great power, comes great responsibility. A car, a van, a lorry is a very powerful machine. When you have control of these machines, you should also have great responsibilities.

However in Singapore, the Road Safety Council tells you: with great personal risk, comes great personal responsibility. So it is risky to ride a bike in Singapore - be responsible.  It is risky to ride a motor-cycle - be responsible. For your own safety.

It is a very very sad indictment of our selfish nature, our self-centred society.

In Singapore, we also believe that with great power, comes great rewards... and a different set of rules.

Singaporeans love their cars because owning one is the one way where anyone can be "privileged" - have great power, but without the great responsibility.

They expect pedestrians to give way to them ("I pay road tax ok!"). And cyclists too.

And I know of cyclists who barrel down the pathway ringing their bells and scaring pedestrians. With great power comes great privilege! Get out of my way, you foot shufflers! And later maybe, they are bullied on the road by drivers. Get out of my way, you mincing peddlers!

I would like to see more "Spiderman" drivers (and cyclists!) in Singapore. Drivers who recognise that with great power comes great responsibility. There are drivers like that. They are patient. They "share" the road. They realise that one moment of impatience could cost another person their life, or cause them pain and suffering. And they understand that with great power, comes great responsibility.

So if you read this and some time later you slow down and share the road and you repeat to yourself, "With great power comes great responsibility", and maybe your kid asks you, "Daddy (or Mommy), why you never HORN that cyclist/pedestrian!" You can tell your kid, "'Cos I'm Spiderman!"

We can't all be Spiderman, but we can all act responsibly and handle that powerful machine within our control with great responsibility.

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