AP English Literature and Composition
April 12, 2010
This I believe…
I believe in the power of silence; specifically the silence of car horns. One of the greatest irritants of the world today is beeping your car horn. It’s a hidden evil with the strength and capacity to ruin the day of millions of people with one aggressive honk. Think about it. When someone beeps at a fellow driver who is “swerving all over the f-ing road” or “didn’t turn their damn turn signal on early enough” they are spreading anxiety and ultimately hatred. Simply hearing a beep puts a driver on edge. Were they beeping at you? Did you do something wrong? Is an accident about to occur that you’re not aware of? Is your car about to be totaled? All of these questions among others begin to fill you with feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness and anger. So you collect yourself and move on with your day. Right? Wrong.
Now that you’ve been unknowingly put into a slightly altered mood who knows what you can be capable of. Whether it’s yelling at your friend for being late to dinner or losing patience with children this unfortunate beep has altered your day for the worse. You move through your day with slightly less patience and a lack of your usual sanity and eventually you will act in a way uncharacteristic of yourself. You yell at your mother who was five minutes late to drop off your history book at school, which would have been perfectly fine if you hadn’t already been on edge. She, in turn, will no doubt ground your brother later for coming home from school five minutes after he promised. But alas, the cycle does not stop there, it continues on. Your brother is then in a bad mood for his jazzercise class and in his anger he missteps and bruises the foot of a fellow classmate. This classmate then gets into an accident on his way to see “The Sound of Music” later that night. When he finally arrives at the performance he sings to the songs obnoxiously in an effort to cheer himself up which annoys all of the people surrounding him who have already paid $200 for their orchestra seats. In their rage they form a gang which will forever terrorize your city, and all because that one guy beeped his car horn out of frustration.
So of course the question remains: Was it worth it? Was it fair to burden the world with your brief moment of frustration? Was it fair to mom or Timmy and his jazzercise classmates? Of course it wasn’t, but you were enraged and you couldn’t control yourself, right? So it’s all okay and they’ll move on eventually. As a matter of fact they probably didn’t even realize their day had been altered at all. That may be true, but do you really want to knowingly do that to so many people? All of those people could have spread happiness and joy to those they came in contact with and instead they spread anger, sadness, and anxiety. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if people stopped beeping at everyone else? I believe this to be true, and for this reason I will refrain from beeping out of anger until the day I die. I never want to be responsible for unleashing Pandora’s Box onto the world with my car horn.