A number of years ago, people who traveled along the great Lincoln Highway noticed numerous white crosses along the side of the road. When tourists inquired as to the reason these small crosses were staked along the sides of the road, they were told that each cross marked the spot where some life had been lost in an automobile accident.
The crosses became more numerous as the months passed. Some towns built platforms and on these placed demolished cars as a danger sign to motorists. Still the accidents increased. Toy skeletons were hung up along the highway making things look as gruesome as possible, but the death toll still climbed.
Towns along this beautiful highway noticed that traffic began to grow lighter. Business seemed to drop overnight. Smaller highways were being used instead and something had to be done. A questionnaire was sent out to a large number of motorists asking them why they were using the smaller highways when they had access to one of the finest highways in the United States.
The answers which were received told in a very few words the reason. The motorists did not enjoy looking at all the crosses. They did not like to be reminded that a life had been lost at each mark along the road. Skeletons and demolished cars are not pleasant to look at, and they were continually being reminded of danger and death. Thus they would rather drive on a smaller highway with less conveniences than to drive on a main highway with such an outlook.
The crosses were removed. The skeletons and wrecked cars were discarded. Signs and beautiful pictures were put up in their places. Things that were pleasing and interesting to all were placed where the white crosses once were. The traffic returned, business increased, and the accidents and deaths decreased.
So it is in our daily travel along life’s highway. Do you see crosses and wrecks along the road or can you see flowers, pictures, and things beautiful? We see only the hard and ugly things in life if we make it so. We can think of nothing but trials and hardships or we can think of the reward which we shall have at the end of the road.
Are you looking ahead for the things that are to come? Can you see the blue sky above and heaven ahead or do you see nothing but the mud under your feet and the hardships and trials beside you? Let’s look ahead. It really pays.
~By Charles L. Paddock, Signs of the Times, August 4, 1936.