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Everyday on my way to work, I pass a very busy intersection that delays my commute time for at least five minutes.

This intersection is a cross of a big private school, so scampering school buses and services in the area are very likely. The road to the right leads to our marketplace, and the road opposite that leads to our small district’s very big mall. That’s how busy it is. And everyday there is this five-minute traffic with a lot of honking cars and jeepneys, and motorcycles squeezing their way to the narrow openings in between the other cars. This is a usual sight, in a worse one, there are yelling.

But last month, they set up traffic lights. I kind of doubted if the traffic lights would really help since we’re all still the same commuters, same drivers working their way out of the same busy intersection. Basically, we’re all still the same old.

But for weeks now, I am a converted fan of that tri-colored black box because boy, it actually made a difference. The once busy intersection turned into a perfect traffic lane, like a scene from the Stepford Wives movie. We could now pass the intersection for less than a minute. For me, it was a miracle!

So having witnessed a radical change in people’s attitudes, I now believe in traffic lights. And that the possibility of a change in mindset and everyday scenario just because of a rule, a good rule that works.

I’ve always thought the most hopeless situations in our country are because of the people themselves, and that the existence of a higher authority would not really have that much effect had the people not change their own views. Somehow this little road experience taught me that maybe we are not hopeless and one of the things we need is a strong push from a higher power, some rule or law that would push us to our disciplined edge, a black-and-white rule book without unnecessary exceptions. And hope that in the long run, the interference of a rule would make this place better.

Just like what the traffic light did to our busy intersection.