Pop-Pop & Traffic Lights

My Pop-Pop once told my brothers and me that he couldn’t see the difference between the colors of the traffic lights while driving. At a few decibels higher than necessary, he shared his approach with passion, “I know the top is the red one, the middle is yellow, and the bottom one is green. What else do I need to know!?”

I was old enough to be a bit alarmed, but the only driving he did was back and forth to his job at Wendy’s, so we let it go. We didn’t have much choice in the matter anyway; we knew there was no way he'd give up driving.

That night, I remember thinking about how I never thought about a traffic light this way. If I had been a contestant on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? at the time and asked the location of the lights, I probably would have stumbled.

Maybe it's a stretch, but when I think about Pops's seemingly hazardous approach to driving now, I see it more like a parable on life. We all make our way through the world differently. My path may not be the one for you and yours for me, but who are we to judge? If we trade that judgment for curiosity, we may just learn a thing or two.


I wasn't sure why I returned to this story last night, but it came to mind after designing the artwork for yesterday's note on going after what you want, an abstracted greenlight. I love these unconscious links in thought.