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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How do you Drive?

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Hey there everyone!!

I’ve been driven in cars more than anyone else I know.  Of course, this is because I cannot drive, and every time I need to get somewhere where public transit isn’t practical, I make sure I find myself a driver.

Out of all the situations in life, I find it fascinating how people are the most obnoxious and angry when they drive vehicles.  They see other drivers who are making mistakes, not being safe, etc., etc., and scream with rage, yelling profanities.  What’s most surprising is that I even experience this from people who I would otherwise consider very calm, rational, and optimistic.

What’s the point of getting so loud and rude?  The other person is probably not going to hear anything.  They probably aren’t going to change their behavior, either.  I can understand a quick screech as an involuntary reaction to stupidity, but isn’t continuing to feel upset and ruining your day (and affecting the mood of fellow passengers), even more stupid?

Some might think that because I don’t drive, I couldn’t possible relate or understand.  But, I do “drive”...

Analogous to how people drive their cars, I need to navigate my physical body like a machine through a war zone, in order to be safe and reach my destinations.  I share with friends how I feel like an android as I walk with them trying to have a conversation.  This is because, as I’m having the conversation, I also need to simultaneously be conscious of light/shadow movements, potential obstructions, and other people navigating, etc.  It takes a lot of work to compensate for sight (like using my memory, intelligence, and faith / having accidents on occasion).

Can you imagine how many times I do bump into people?  Ironically, it’s usually not my fault, but the unconscious behaviors of people’s habits.  They are so glued to their phones or immersed in their playlist, that they don’t notice me as they walk towards me.  Most people don’t realize that I am blind, so they automatically assert that it is my fault for not noticing them, and sometimes are rude to me.

Do I scream back at them?  Can I start cursing to make my point?  Do I get depressed about how incompetent, inconsiderate, and rude most people are?  (Well, I used to.)  I just gave one example of people being rude to me, but use your imagination and realize I have had to develop mechanisms to deal with hundreds of situations like this.

Maybe most people don’t scream/curse in a live setting, but do it in a car, because they know the other person can’t really hear them.  But the most important people can hear them (passengers, and themselves).  And how does that affect everybody’s day?

It’s not just about driving cars.  We may not scream and feel upset about external people/circumstances out loud, but we may scream profanities and feel upset inside with our own internal dialog.  As T. Harv Eker popularized, “how you do one thing is how you do everything”.

Screaming (even in our own heads) and being upset at people who are incompetent (if it wasn’t an innocent mistake) is not an empowering way to be.  That’s not the way we want to drive our lives.  Forget about driving cars -- what drives you in your life?  Is it life circumstances?  Or is it a purpose, a passion, a family member, or an extraordinary way of being?

If we don’t consciously choose to stay in control of our thoughts and words, then our actions will also become habituated and involuntary.

I get to some places faster and more easily than others even with my extremely limited sight and no vehicle.  That’s because it’s not about the vehicle, it’s about our ability to “drive” -- it’s about our ability to know how to deal with people/obstacles that keep us from reaching our destinations.

And of course, our ultimate destination is to be at peace, in as many moments of now as possible.  Success is a journey, not a destination.  So make sure you enjoy your ride!

Let’s love the world together...

[)anish /|hmed, blind visionary

P.S. Here’s a great video about how to “Enjoy the ride.”

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