Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What's the Rush?

For this scene, the setting was the streets of San Francisco. The light was red, so I was stopped waiting for my turn to go. In front of me walked a little old lady with a cane. She was very slowly making her way from my right to my left. As she took her time to cross the street, I was struck by how absolutely beautiful the weather was. In fact, many of us were driving with our windows down.

She made it past us and was about five-eighths of the way across when someone come from my right to make a left turn. Of course, the lady was directly in her way. The driver, who was trying to make the left turn, started yelling. Something to the effect of "getting the *&$#*@# out of the way!"

I don't know if she was yelling at the lady or if she was the type who generally yells while driving. In any case, her face was clearly the face of unhappiness. I didn't see the old lady react in any way, she just kept going. Who knows, maybe this wasn't the first time she has been the target of unhappy drivers.

This brings to mind one of my favorite Zen sayings:
What's the rush? We are all going to the same place anyway.
I am not going to paint any legs on this snake and try to explain it. I will say a couple of things about it, though.
  • Please sit with this. Keep this as mantra or a Koan until you fully get it. Until it permeates every bit of your being - not just some superfluous intellectual understanding
  • Do not judge this driver as good or bad. This is our culture, our society. I can promise you, if you continue to practice Zen, if you bring awareness into your driving, if you attain this teaching: When a little old lady is trying to cross the street in front of you, you will view her with compassion. That is something to strive for.