H.U.G Corner: Thought of the Week 7/10
Quiet Mind: One-Minute Retreats from a Busy World
I wonder if you have the same experience that I sometimes do. I’m driving along, thinking that I am in a fine mood, when the driver waiting at the stoplight in front of me puts his left turn signal just as the light turns green. The reaction is immediate and strong: I am absolutely furioso! I struggle not to lay on the horn and do a few other things as well.
How can I go from serenity to rage in an instant? And because of such a thing as a left turn? Can’t I really afford the thirty seconds or minute that I’ll have to wait? What happened? What’s going on in me?
The only answer I can come up with is that the car has become a symbol of so many of the societal frustrations we experience today. The classic symbol of our independence now often thwarts our progress and becomes an inconvenience and a limit on our freedom, not a means to it.
For a serene life, we need to pay a lot of attention to driving automobiles, whether or not we actually drive.
I propose spending some time getting to know your car- well, not your car, really, but getting to know yourself in your car. Think about how you want to react to other drivers, talk to family members and friends about your common experiences while driving, and perhaps change your expectations of what driving will actually be like for you - more traffic, more delays, more jams.
And if the rage hits you anyway, remember to take a deep breath or two. Then see what you can come up with to restore serenity. I try to think of the fact that I’m only one of many trying to get somewhere. And if I’m feeling particularly honest, I recall that sometimes I am the one putting on the left turn signal just as the light turns green.
Spend some time with your car today.
-Henry David Thoreau
-Barbara De Angelis