Friday, September 11, 2015

Do we Enjoy our Driving?

View from the Ark in the Catholic Times has a meditation on driving, by a pastor who was assigned to a busy area in his rural diocese and one with  many accidents. According to OECD statistics, Korea continues to be in the number one or two spot. Speed of life may be one of the hidden reasons for the  large number.

The columnist  says that  although in the country, he feels  there are  more accidents than in Seoul and believes the  few cars on the road, speed, and a relaxed  understanding of traffic regulations may be the problem. 
In front of the church, he mentions the large number of illegal left turns that are made. He has  reported the problem to the authorities on many occasions, but they seem to be more interested in aesthetics than preventing accidents. Pedestrians with their jaywalking are at fault, but he puts  more of the responsibility on the drivers who are in the possession of a very heavy machine, with speed. They are very efficient, and we find it difficult to resist the dangers that are present.

On long trips he finds himself asking:  Am I driving safely?  What does it mean to drive well? What does it mean to drive? Seeing the other cars he asks himself why are they driving so dangerously?  Why don't they  use the signal light?  Why is the driver going so slow in the first lane? 

One day suddenly, this thought came to him:  we are all traveling on the same road shouldn't we be cooperating? Others also have a destination, and we should be helping each other. Like in life, we should have trust and love, and concern for those who are using the roads with us. We should be looking on them as cooperators,  neighbors,  associates, but often we see them as competitors, obstacles and even enemies. He  wants to see them as the Samaritan saw the poor man on the side of the road.

Driving, we can be concerned only with  our situation: we are in a hurry, tired; the traffic is backed up for miles; other drivers are breaking the rules. However, when I am in the driver's seat and my hands are on the steering wheel I am in a position to practice graceful living: concern for the other, trust and love, for we are  traveling together to our respective destination. If we saw the other driver as an associate, cooperator and brother/sister traveler, wouldn't this kind of attitude  make life more enjoyable?

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