That photo is a joke.
There aren’t any ‘headphone-user’ warning signs on the streets of London.
I agree it is a funny picture, but just because that isn’t an actual traffic sign I don’t think the message it carries should be laughed off.
The taxi drivers’ organisation that set up the photo also did one featuring a fake sign that warns drivers that pedestrians often send text messages while crossing the road.
Basically, the point is that a lot of people today walk around with their heads up their butts, and they can be a hazard to other people – in this case drivers.
I fully agree, but I also think people who get caught up in the sensory overload of phones and music devices and the general go, go, go pace of modern life are missing out on something.
And as it happens, that something is closely related to a 1960s folk song whose title sounds like it could be about a taxi driver’s day.
The song is called Turn! Turn! Turn! and most of the words were lifted straight out of the Old Testament so they have been around for thousands of years.
The message, however, is not particularly Christian, it is simply that there is a time for everything and we need to be in touch with the rhythm of life if we hope to get on successfully:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Back in the old days before people were constantly connected to their music or to other people through their personal entertainment and communication devices it was a whole lot easier to be in touch with that natural rhythm.
People’s lives depended on understanding nature so they could hunt, grow and gather enough food for themselves and their families.
That’s not the case today for most of us, but that doesn’t mean the laws of nature have suddenly changed.
I’m not saying that our phones and iPods are bad things; I’m just saying we still need to be in touch with the natural flow of life.
There is a time to listen to music, and a time to be quiet; there is a time to text, and a time to be aware of what is going on around you… and it’s not just while you are crossing the road or driving.