There are three parts to learning to drive:
- The Law!
- Situational awareness.
- Physical interaction and muscle memory.
As I considered these (more on them later), in my endeavor to teach my children how to drive, I thought about that number — three.
And how curious it is and how it might represent a balance between so many aspects of life.
Jessie posted an article on argumentative discourse where there were three factor that comprise a good discussion 1) episteme, 2) eunoia, 3) parrhesia.
There’s the three branches of government: executive, legislative, judicial.
Three parts to the Holy Trinity.
A three legged stool is the most stable of simple structures.
We’ve got, beginning-middle-end, birth-life-death, three-wishes, the troika, and the three languages on the Rosetta Stone. Just dozens and dozens of references to the balance of ideals, concepts, strengths, forces all done so through the juxtaposition and interaction of three.
What three lobed thing, in your life, your universe, means something to you?
But back to driving…
First, we must learn the law. Knowledge of what is legal, or not; how to treat the road signs, the road-lines, the signals and public alerts and indications — the rules of the road — all of this must be learned and memorized so that you can know how the other two factors should be situated.
Second we have situational awareness. Within the framework of the law, we have what is going on around you *right now*. Are there cars, people, animals around you. Are you driving on a curvy, straight, slick, gravelly road? Are you going too fast? Too slow? How’s the light? Are you getting tired? Everything that makes up the environment of your driving experience.
Thirdly there is the actual interaction with the vehicle. Some people rarely think this is a thing to learn — or at least to spend much time on. But in my mind this must be the very first thing you should learn. The car becomes an extension of your body. When it accelerates or screeches to a halt, you feel it in your body. When you go too fast around a curve, the centripetal force alerts you to the danger. When your wheels start to slide on ice or snow or hydro-plane, you feel that instant queasy, fair-ride feeling of lost control. How hard can you slam on the breaks? How does it feel to power-slide? What does it feel like to hit a deep pothole or get lifted off your seat during a gravity escaping leap over a country hill? Such things must be learned by your mind-body. These are not conscious parts of driving. These must be subconscious reactions that your body takes over when your mind is freewheeling in chaos.
Three parts to driving. Three parts to conversation. Three parts to government, and a good milking stool. “Three shall be the number. And the number shall be three…”