Yesterday, as I was driving down the Fahaheel Expressway, I was almost crashed into by a flying, black SUV that appeared suddenly in my rear view mirror and out of nowhere. As quickly as he appeared, careened towards me, causing heart-palpitations, and then sped off, he was gone. As I was gathering my wits, I began wondering aloud, perhaps no so eloquently or subtly, just where in the heck does someone have to be that he should have to drive so recklessly?
I came to the conclusion that either there was an emergency that suddenly presented itself, or he had somewhere he was supposed to be and had not allotted enough time to get there, or he was just a fool.
Given that this was not the first, second, or third time that I have seen this sort of thing happen, I will give the person the benefit of the doubt and say that he most probably was just in a hurry and wasn't thinking about anyone other than himself. Which also lead me to wonder about time...
It seems that so many of us are chasing, rushing, hurrying to this and that and the other. Often we hurry for no particular reason, just that it has become habit, which leads us to all kinds of other problems, not the least of which is that we have, for the most part, lost our ability to notice the other.
Be it the other person, the other landscape, the other beings, we have just lost our touch with the world around us. This is evident by the way many of us treat that world. In fact it is often used as our passing through place to dump our trash, throw out cigarette butts, and generally ignore and disregard.
If we are rushing past it all, how should we even notice its decrepitude and demise? If we are rushing past everyone, how should we notice others' needs or feelings? If we are rushing past it all, how can we ever invest ourselves to make our surroundings a better/safer place to be?
Have you ever stopped to think about the places you are driving through? Noticed the people that you pass on the side of the road? Looked at the shape of the terrain that you are driving through? Having the ability to be in the car and fly past the world around us in some ways puts us at a disadvantage. Sure we gain a lot from rapid transit, but we lose our connection to the world at large and to each other; therefore, we start to view each other not as people who have their own lives, needs, and rights, but as impediments to our own destinations, road blocks, as it were.
Islam says that speed is of shaytan, many other traditions also relate this sentiment in various ways. Henry David Thoreau said this: The finest workers of stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.
Would that we could all slow down and observe the workings of life around us enough to appreciate it all.