A Remarkable Story of Adaptability

A Remarkable Story of Adaptability

On this day in 1967 the people of Sweden successfully enacted a major change to daily life in their country. Listen as Ned shares the story and ponders whether the United States could accomplish the same kind of feat!

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Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our producer is Sarah Guertin and our recording engineer/editor is Scott Persson.

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A transcript of this episode is below.


Dr. Ned Hallowell:
This episode of Distraction is sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by OmegaBrite Wellness, creators of the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD; safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com. And by Landmark College, offering comprehensive support for students with ADHD and other learning differences. Learn more at lcdistraction.org. Landmark College, the college of choice for students who learn differently.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Hello and welcome to a mini episode of Distraction. I’m your host, Dr. Ned Hallowell. Always nice to be with you. Thank you for inviting me into your ear space.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Well, there’s a very interesting thing that happened on this day, September 3rd, way back in 1967 when I was a senior in high school. On September 3rd in 1967, as I was getting used to the 12th grade, something amazing, amazing happened in Sweden. And let me read you a paragraph from the news.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
At 4:50 a.m., 4:50 a.m., 10 minutes of 5:00 in the morning on September 3rd, 1967 as crowds of people gathered to watch, all vehicles on the road were instructed to come to a halt. They were then directed to move carefully from the left side of the road to the right and wait. At the stroke of 5:00, following a radio countdown, an announcement was made, Sweden now has right-hand driving and traffic was allowed to resume. Time magazine called the event a brief but monumental traffic jam.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Can you imagine in this country if we tried to at 5:00 a.m. on a certain day tell everyone they had to turn their car around and drive on the other side of the road? It would take us decades to prepare to do that. The reason Sweden did it, of course, was all the other countries in the area had it. And 90% of the cars in Sweden, since they export so many of them, had the steering wheel on the left, which led to many accidents since they were driving on the other side, especially on narrow roads. So they made the decision to switch to the side of the road that the rest of Europe drives on. I still think of it as the wrong side of the road. I shouldn’t say that. But it’s psychologically amazing that they did it without rancor, they did it with obedience.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
You know, Jonathan Swift has a great part of, I think it’s in Gulliver’s Travels, where he talks about a war, that people went to war between the large-enders and the small-enders, and it was the people who cracked their boiled eggs on the large end versus those who cracked their boiled eggs on the small end. And they thought this was worthy of killing each other to determine who would hold sway, the large-enders or the small-enders. And that seems to be much more a common part of human nature than a country agreeably at 5:00 a.m. on September 3rd of 1967, “Okay, stop your car. Now, turn and go on the other side.” And everyone does it. And leave it to the Swedes to be so adaptable and so able to cooperate. We hear a lot of stories about how people won’t do it, can’t do it, haven’t done it, and protest that they shouldn’t do it. It’s wonderful to hear a story where a very, very practically impactful measure was proposed, enacted, and followed through on. Hail to the Swedes on September 3, 2020.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Okay. Once again, I’d like to thank our sponsor, OmegaBrite Wellness. My wife and I have taken their omega-3 supplements for years. And for the past several months, I’ve been taking their CBD supplement as well. I highly recommend them both. Go to omegabrigtwellness.com and save 20% on your first order with the code Podcast 2020. And please continue to reach out to us with your questions, comments, and show ideas. We love them. We use them. We thrive on them. We’d be lost without them. You can email us at [email protected] That’s [email protected]

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
Distraction is created by Sounds Great Media. Our recording engineer and editor is the amazingly talented Scott Persson. He’s also a musician, by the way. And our producer is the also amazingly talented Sarah Guertin. She’s also an artist and a mom, by the way. I’m Dr. Ned Hallowell, and I’m also Dr. Ned Hallowell. Thanks so much for listening.

Dr. Ned Hallowell:
The episode you just heard was sponsored by OmegaBrite CBD formulated by Omega Brite Wellness, creators of the number one omega-3 supplements for the past 20 years. OmegaBrite CBD; safe, third-party tested, and it works. Shop online at omegabritewellness.com.

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