Thursday, May 6, 2010

DAY 44: Traffic Jams Bring Out Our True Colours

DAY FORTY-FOUR: Monday, 3rd May 2010

Monday’s full of meetings.

Tuesday is going to be worse. It’s all back to back. Thank goodness I really love what I am doing now, and I thoroughly enjoy the company of the people I work with, or meet because of my work.

Rushing from one meeting to another puts me into the position I least desire, and that is, driving.

I don’t like driving in KL much because I think some of the drivers are just plain mad. Especially those with ‘P’ signs. ‘P’ means Probation. These drivers are not fully licensed to drive. Yes, they have gone through the driving test and passed it, but they need to be on probation for about a year or two. I can’t remember exactly. But during that probationary period, their cars will have to exhibit this ‘P’ sticker.

Here, I am generalising as I am sure there are some ‘P’ drivers who do not have issues and need to exert their ‘right to drive’ as much as others. But the ‘P’ drivers I am referring to here are the ones who really have little regard to road signs, driving etiquette or just the road rules. I often wonder if they actually know the road rules in the first place because judging from the way they drive, it doesn’t look like they know anything.

But what I am getting at is not directed at the ‘P’ drivers in particular. It is to all of us. As I have been driving so much of late, I noticed that being behind the wheel can really turn one into a monster. And I can totally empathize why road rage exists.

We are all caught up in this mad rat race and we are all rushing from one place to another, and we each seem to have so much on our minds or hearts. Being on the road with this condition, it is like a time bomb waiting for the next driver to piss you off and then you’ll explode.

During traffic jams is when I see the true colours of each person. I can see how 'small' some hearts are, because they will not allow anyone to pass, even though it is already a crawl and no one is getting anywhere fast. You know those I am talking about here, the ones who would escalate their speed just so no one can get through, and it is not like there is much space to move on further either. Then there are some who are honking away, gesturing ugly signs at others because someone else is slightly slower, or someone else has decided to cut in the line.

In short, traffic on the road reflects the real human mind at work.

Yes, you become selfish in every sense of the word. It is all about how fast you can get there and how much you hate the traffic and no way in hell, you are not letting anyone else get ahead of you. Then other forms of selfishness reveal themselves when you see those drivers who deliberately drive through another lane, because they refuse to wait in line, but decide to cut in so that they do not have to wait like the other ‘silly fools’ behind. Then they feel so proud or great like as if they have achieved some wonderful feat by going into another lane and cutting in front, not realising that they could very well be the ones who are adding to the already very unpleasant traffic. Imagine how much slower the traffic crawls when those in other lanes, decide to cut in at the very front or at the last minute, delaying everyone else.

We seriously do not see ourselves and how our self-serving actions have caused greater discomforts to others. We are always only thinking about our own self.

And yes, the whole rat race will amplify this “self-centred” illness even more, because it forces everyone to compete with one another, or better yet, with everyone else. And you wonder why there is no harmony, no courtesy, no unity and peace?

If we cannot even do that little bit on the road, do you think we can do it elsewhere?

And if we want to blame everything on the maddening rat race because it brings out the beast in us, I have only this to ask - there can only be a beast lurking inside, dying to get out in the first place. Otherwise, nothing can provoke anything that does not already exist within us.

As for me, I have counted that at my worst - I have cursed more than 25 times on the road for a 15 minutes' drive.

Today, I have cursed about 5 words or less for a 35 minutes' drive. Still cursing, but cutting that atrocious habit down.

Anyways, this is what sums up my DAY FORTY-FOUR :-

Weight: 53kg

No. Of Prostrations: 15 (BUSY CRAZY YET AGAIN)

Daily Sadhanas: Check and Done with Death Meditation and Dzambala Mantra.

Physical Exercise: 35 mins

Daily Reflection from "IF NOT NOW, WHEN?" – Here we go. I close my eyes and I picked out page 077.

Oh, I love this! It totally highlights my point above and I did not even plan it. Brilliant!

Quote from Page 077 for Day Forty-Four:

“A good person’s quality is to step out first because he wants to make himself and everybody around him happy.

Being humble doesn’t mean you lose, it means you have won. Give the victory to others.”

Personal Thoughts and Feelings:

Gosh, if only we all can practise that and exactly that, then the whole world will become a much happier place because we are much happier people.

I think life as it is – is already very challenging. Sometimes we seriously do not have the answers to our problems and sometimes that is immensely scary.

So, we really do not need to add onto the already very stressful situation in every person’s life. Giving way, or just giving the victory to others does not mean that we are losers or we are weak. It simply means, our hearts are ‘big enough’ to care more, and our minds are ‘wise enough’ to think beyond a petty traffic jam, or other petty issues. We do not allow ourselves to be embroiled in things which bring no real benefit at all, to us or to anyone else.

Here, I want to go back to my traffic jam analogy.

Why? Because just like in the traffic jam, we are all stuck in this space called earth. No one is getting out to anywhere better fast and easy. There is no special prize for you to arrive anywhere earlier. Wherever you may escape to, it is still on this earth. This earth is our very own FISH BOWL. The only real destination is death. So, how we want to make full use of our time while we are alive should reflect how much we truly value life, in all its forms – not just what appeals to us, but also what turns us off due to our own lack of understanding.

At the end of the day, all of us are just doing our best to cope, to survive and to make the best of what we have. And I am sure, all of us could really use a warm smile, a helping hand and a kind gesture. We would truly appreciate that – any time, any day.

Please think about this - especially when we drive.

1 comment:

  1. "This earth is our very own FISH BOWL. The only real destination is death. So, how we want to make full use of our time while we are alive should reflect how much we truly value life, in all its forms – not just what appeals to us, but also what turns us off due to our own lack of understanding."
    You said it so well. This is the key to understand what we are doing here.
    Thank you!


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