Sometimes a picture really is worth 1000 words.
I thought there might be a few lessons to be gleaned from these novel posts in Hong Kong and perhaps some reminders to carry into the week ahead.
Look Left. Look Right.
Information is a funny thing. (At least, how we use and/or abuse it is a funny thing.)
On the one hand, we sometimes purposefully withhold very important information from those nearest and dearest to us. I guess mind reading does work well in some households. Not, however, in most.
On the other hand, when given the right opportunity most of us present way too much information, drowning our family, spouses, friends, employees, or other captive audience in a lot of useless details that really don’t matter to anyone but give us a chance to just keep talking.
Hong Kongers have the right idea: give folks exactly the amount of information they need when they need it most.
While I was there I never figured out which direction would be oncoming traffic (since cars there drive on the “wrong” side of the road) and if left alone I would probably never have known when it was safe to cross an intersection. Fortunately for me, when there was no pedestrian cross light in a street intersection all you had to do was look down at the curb. There you would see painted bold letters telling you exactly in which direction to look for cars before stepping out in the street.
Exactly enough necessary information. Not at all too much. If only we could communicate so clearly to those around us.
One of the common Western countries’ traffic signs demands that drivers “Yield.” The equivalent sign in Hong Kong simply asks you to “Give Way.” Move aside. Let someone else ahead if needed, rather like letting another group play through on a golf course.
When I read that something “gives way” I usually think of collapse or surrender.
However, consider “Give Way” as letting others go first. Letting that other shopper ahead of you at the grocery store. Letting someone else talk while you really listen (instead of just waiting for your chance to grab the conversational reins again). And, of course, letting that other driver slip in before your car on the highway.
Please Mind the Gap.
This was probably my favorite. When riding the subway, the recorded voice announcing each station along the way frequently will remind passengers to “mind the gap between the train and the platform.” Watch your step, we might say. “Mind the gap,” for me, conjured up the very concept of mindfulness. The idea that, no matter how tired I might be at the end of a long day, no matter how my feet might be hurting or my packages getting heavy, I was encouraged to consider carefully where I was and what I was doing. Pay attention. Be present. Engage.
As a new week begins, i hope everyone will remember to:
Look left. Look right.
Mind the gap.
And safe travels on the journey ahead….