I captured this image around 1:30am, the prime time for deep thinking. After seeing how the light post illuminated the pedestrian walkway sign, it made me begin to think about why we have them in the first place. The functional benefit of the sign is to indicate that the area that you're approaching is filled with people walking around, so drive cautiously, so you avoid hitting them. However, this sign speaks to the person on foot that they have the right-of-way. I have mixed emotions about this.
As the "dominant species", we have rules and regulations set up to police ourselves in this civilized society. We have so many guidelines that we've lost touch with the basic principles on how the world works. I believe that if whatever it is is bigger than you, then you should get out of its way. In our society, we have faith that if we walk in front of a moving vehicle, the vehicle will stop suddenly for our leisure, because we have "the right-of-way". This has blinded our population into becoming reliant on this yellow sign, making us believe that we are almost invincible when crossing by it. Looking both ways before crossing has almost diminished in our youth. Next time you go to a shopping center, count how many pedestrians pull their carts out in front of you, because they have the right-of-way.
The right-of-way is no longer just a sign or permission to cross, it's permission for someone to be an asshole. At any moment, a pedestrian can be struck by a car and they automatically win the lawsuit. Now I'm not talking about a driver blindly passing through a walkway and blatantly hitting someone. The circumstance I'm discussing is those who will risk their life for a quick buck. Society has ridden their sense of community and empathy towards their neighbor. As people, we need to become aware of our surroundings. Remove the blinders and care about your next step, because it could be your last, either through mortality or paralysis. Think about it.