The M50 and the Frog

I was reminded the other day, sitting in traffic on the M50 of how I had done so much of the same thing on the M25, the ring road around London in the late 80’s and early 90’s. And I thought, been there, done that…. I used to spend up to 4 hrs per day commuting to and from work in London. And do you know why – because thats what I thought you were supposed to do.

Since coming back to the “auld sod” I notice each September the roads getting busier and busier but only slightly. And as always the infrastructure follows demand so it will only get worse. It brings to mind the story of the frog and the boiling water. Simply, if you put a frog in boiling water it will jump out straight away, albeit a little worse for wear. However if you put a Frog in cool water and bring it to the boil slowly it will eventually die, not noticing the water getting too hot. So I wonder when are people going to jump out.Boiling FrogFrog in a Pot

We have families dropping kids off in the dark,  with Parents going to work in the dark and picking them up in the dark after work – in September. We have people doing 4hrs per day in the car with both blood pressure and bodyweight going up who come home wrung out and with nothing left for their families when they do see them.

And its not the roads, although a Public Transport System (more on this another time) we could trust would help. Its the mindset. If we were visited from outerspace and they observed us from up high they would see us getting into metal boxes and traveling in the same direction at the same time very day, twice per day. The boxes are 4 times too big and when we get to where we are going there is no room to put the boxes. They would wonder why.

So I ask – why are we all going in the same direction? Why would any new business in their right mind locate in central Dublin unless they had to be there? Why are we so Dublin centric. There are jobs all over this country. There are big houses with Gardens for the price of an Apartment in fine towns all over Ireland. Fear of change (or in some cases Culchies) or of trying something new is a big factor. But how bad does it have to get. How hot the water?  There are many things out of our control but not this. You have but one life. Live it, take control of it. Make the change.

So three cheers for De-Centralisation and to broadening mindsets. Congrats to those companies and employees locating outside the Capital. Hurrah for those getting away from the big rush and retrieving 20 hrs a week of precious time. And applause for those having the courage to make the leap, nay, “the Hop” out of the pot. 

Don’t be left in hot water……

Aidan Higgins

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