One beautiful spring day, quite suddenly, thanks to law enforcement, my entire pool of Moscow friends and acquaintances became split into two categories – mature people with understading of responsibility for their actions and infantile folks who basically deserve everything they complain about.
Here’s what happened. Sunday afternoon. City is half empty. Khamovniki district. I am casually crossing Leo Tolstoy street where it crosses Rossolimo, as a police officer yells out: “Miss, wait up”. I stop near the curb and approximately the following dialogue ensues:
– You are jaywalking. Would you like to get hit by a car?
– Of course not.
– See? I must write you up for a thousand rubles for this violation. If you pay within the next 20 days, you’ll only owe 50%.
– Okay. Will this take a long time?
– Are you in a hurry?
– Hungry, I was rushing to lunch after training.
– It will only take ten minutes.
I did wait though it seemed that I did not have a choice. While the officer filled out all the forms, I took a picture of him for my Instagram and published the post where, among other things, I asked people not to break traffic laws. I was rather surprised when I saw people’s reactions to this story and found out that in reality, most people would have acted differently!
Someone said: “You should have just kept walking and not stop”, another friend (a rather civil and polite person, mind you!) suggested to make a run for it in similar situations. Basically, most comments that I got from social networks and in person contained one general message: avoid responsibility.
You know, maybe I’m a bit of a maximalist but for me it’s kind of like pooping in the elevator.
Then and now when I remember this story, I feel sincerely perturbed. I always considered and will consider that if we are unable to affect the world on a grandiose scale, then at least on a microlevel, having the freedom of choice (which includes the choice of jaywalking), must carry the responsibility for it.
Moral of the story is: obey traffic laws, friends, and remember that there is a price for everything.
Believing in the best,