I apologize if I offend your beliefs, but this is something that has puzzled my mind for over 7 years now. I'd like to talk about a religion you may have never heard of before, though I'm sure you are quite familiar with it. I like to call it, "the religion of the little green man." I now know for sure that it exists worldwide.
The little green man exists in most of the 'civilized' world. He can be seen in many shapes, in many styles, and even in other colors besides green. Sometimes he plays music to lull his followers into complacency. Sometimes he flashes a countdown of numbers. When the numbers reach zero, he is replaced by the dangerous, twisted, untrustworthy recluse known as the little red man.
I'm referring to cross walks, and the mind boggling trust people have in the colored figures that dutifully tell pedestrians to stop and go.
I cannot count the number of times I have seen a group of people standing at a cross walk during the day or in the middle of the night without a car in sight waiting patiently for the little green man to replace the demonic red man and tell them that it's alright to take the 3 or 4 'risky' steps across the desolate asphalt.
I cannot count the number of times I have, after giggling at this group of religious nuts, walked into the intersection while, little green man forbid, the red man is still standing vigil. Many times people gasp in disbelief at my heretic disregard for the little green man's duty. I have seen people across from me wake up from their religious stupor and start walking into the intersection beset by barren roads in all directions only to lose courage and stumble back to the safety of the sidewalk.
I have watched hordes of people waiting at a 4 foot intersection for over 3 minutes, waiting for the green man to appear and assure them of their safety.
I have also walked into the intersection while the red man is glaring into our worried, unsure faces and have successfully woken a few people up. They will follow me across the intersection with intense dread and paranoia, looking this way and that for a car that might spontaneously appear right next to them.
There have even been times when every single person at the intersection crosses with me, but only after I have proven the street will not fall into an endless abyss under the green man forsaken care of the little red man.
Folks, what is the deal? Why do so many trust in the little green man so much. Look both ways, and if there aren't any cars coming, they will continue not coming. I know it is hard to believe, but the little green man is not real, you are placing your trust in a non sentient light. You are smarter than him.
The point of waiting at a cross walk is to avoid getting hit by a car. A car needs to be present to be hit by one. If there are no cars, you will not be hit. Ever.
Come to the red side. The little red man is not so bad. He's lonely, and he wants you to use your eyes. Your eyes, you know, those orbs stuck in your head that give you the ability to see.