A Reason to Yield


Free vector graphics of Yield

Over the past few years,  our county government  has built roundabouts on a number of thoroughfares in the area where I  live.  The idea behind these circles in the middle of well -traveled roads was to replace stop signs and improve traffic flow. Were our county leaders trying to copy Washington DC’s Dupont Circle and Thomas Circle, which handle a great amount of traffic fairly well each day? Perhaps so.  Ours aren’t as elaborate as the ones in DC, however, but they’re working very well. To date, we have six of them, and I have  yet to see or hear of a traffic accident at  any one of them.

The circles have become a normal part of the transportation pattern in our area. Some out-of-town visitors of mine found them quite remarkable. Their success may be because drivers obey  the sign posted in bold letters at the entrance to each circle: YIELD TO THE TRAFFIC IN THE CIRCLE. And it seems we drivers have mastered the art of yielding. As we approach a circle,  we anticipate oncoming traffic and pace ourselves to be able to accommodate another vehicle. Sometimes we have to stop completely because another driver or two  entered ahead of us. Good sense and good manners have prevailed—so far.

Yiedling to a fellow citizen at the roundabouts can teach us the value of yielding to others elsewhere. Speech communicators tell us to be conscious of the person to whom we’re speaking, making sure we give them the “right of way” to express their  viewpoint. We  can prevent lingtuistic collision if we refrain from speaking when the other person has started to speak. We   avoid getting into the verbal circle when they have already entered, thus making for  smooth—and indeed pleasant— flow  of conversation.

Sometimes we grownups are like children on the playground at the swings or on the slide. “I was here first,” one may yell and try to unseat  another. That’s what happens at times when one individual floats an idea and is tempted to be opinionated or insist on being heard above everyone else. But it’s essential to recognize that others have opinions too and have a right to be allowed to express them even if we disagree with what they are saying. We must respect their views and allow them to have their say. Instead  of barging ahead, trying to  win an argument, we can slow down and be willing to yield, to hear what the other person is trying to say. We may even learn something when we do.

Nobody has time  to stand around watching cars move through a traffic  circle, but it might be an instructive exercise to do so. The circle tells us that living in community is valuable, and that cooperating and thinking of others  is the better way. We are living in divided times–in a divided nation. The simple symbol  of the smooth-moving traffic in the circle tells us that less focus on self and more on others aids unity,  provides a sense of connectedness, and adds a satisfying dimension to life. Yielding to others, whether in  the public square, in the  workplace, at home, or in the church, has the potential for bringing about  beneficial, healing results.

I  have never seen a driver stop at the entrance to a circle to argue  with the driver of an oncoming vehicle saying, “I was here first. You need to let me go ahead of you.”  That would be ludicrous. Why then do we allow ourselves to take the me-first stand so many times instead of letting the harmony of life prevail in our circle? We can experience change if we remind ourselves often of  the Apostle Paul’s  caution to us “not to think of [ourselves] more highly than [we] ought to think” (Romans 12:3).  Keeping his  words in mind will help us remember to yield to others and, in our own small way, promote togetherness in the circle of life.



How Roundabouts Help Lower Carbon Emissions - The New York Times

Human beings yield in many situations, even
important and
spiritual and central ones….”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn


“Be like water which is fluid and soft and yielding, as
in time
water will overcome rock, which is rigid and
hard.  Therefore,
what is soft is strong.”




  • shirley gordon

    An interesting and thought-provoking Blog; a practical example, one to which it’s easy to relate. In a city where I now reside, much is being done in growth, expansion, and development. I think I’m seeing that same concept being put into place, and it’s working . Thanks for pointing us to the lesson we may take the time to apply to our every day life experience.
    Thanks Judy. Good job.

    • Judith Nembhard

      Hello Shirley,
      What a pleasure hearing from you! So, are you getting roundabouts in your community, too? They are easy to navigate. That’s
      why they are so instructive about yielding. There are so many times in life when harmony depends on yielding.
      Even when our struggles seem too much to handle, wisdom says “Yield.” Thank you so much for your thoughtful
      comment. Happy Fourth! JN

      • Ramona

        I so appreciate you observation and wisdom, Judith. I still find traffic circles challenging as I get confused about the rules. But your graceful words will remind me to yield and be patient in the daily interactions with others. Most appreciated!

        • Judith Nembhard

          Hello Ramona,
          So good to hear from you. At first, I was annoyed with the traffic circle, but it grew on me. Now it’s
          smooth sailing through a circle. Somewhat like some of the annoying situations we encounter. Things go better
          when we yield. True, yielding is not always the logical thing to do, but it cn work out very well in the end.
          I appreciate you as a perceptive reader. Thanks for your generous comment. Judith

  • Fartema Fagin

    Let the healing waters flow. Listening to Duane Hamilton sing this beautiful song gave me insight into why I cried so much at the loss of my spouse. I had to learn how to ‘Yield’ to my Lord in order to heal. Yield. Thanks Judith for reminding me that ‘the Lord is my Shepherd’ as I yield to His guidance daily.

    • Judith Nembhard

      Hello Fartema,
      What a great application of “Yielding”! Yes, in difficult times, when we can’t make the changes we would like, all we can do is yield
      to the protection and guidance of our dear Lord. Thanks for the beautiful sentiment. And you know, Dwayne Hamilton’s name was familiar
      to me, but it took Mr. Michael to remind me that he used to sing with the Heritage Singers. Happy Fourth! JN

  • Montezburks

    Judith as always your blog was so uplifting and a lesson for us whether we are navigating the roundabouts or in our conversations etc happy belated 4th

    • Judith Nembhard

      Hi there Montez,
      You are a winner! With your ability to respond to my post and with your comment itself.
      I certainly appreciate your being a loyal reader of my posts and giving wise feedback.
      Thank you very much. I appreciate your input. JN