Driving and Life

There is a lot of similarity between driving in the traffic and leading life in the world. There are a lot of life-lessons that can be learnt from driving.

The first thing that I need to remind myself while driving through the city traffic is this: I am not in a race. I am not racing against the people around me. No one around me is racing against me. Everyone has his or her own personal destination to reach. It is just by chance that we happen to share the same road for a short distance. The same is true of life. I am not here to compete against anyone around me. No two people have the same goals in life. Everyone’s life is unique. So there is no place for any competition here. The people whom we meet in life, including family members are temporary acquaintances. Every one is on an unique path. We just happened to pass by. So there is no place for any quarrel, jealousy, etc. Let us be polite, courteous, kind and helpful to each other.

Following the rules make it safe for everyone. The traffic rules are to help everyone reach their respective destinations in an efficient manner. The values of life like satya (truth), ahimsa (kindness) and brahmacharya (self-control) are to ensure that we reach our destination safely and efficiently. The objective is not to get ahead of the people currently around me by hook or crook. The objective is to reach the destination, which is much farther ahead. Unethical and illegal shortcuts can only heavily spoil my journey causing delays and retraction.

I need to be prepared. Three kinds of impediments are possible in the journey. The first is created by lethargy and carelessness like running out of fuel on the way. I need to plan better and be more proactive. The second is created by others on the same road. They create traffic congestion for me. This slows me down and causes delays. I need to avoid congested routes. In life, avoiding stereotypical jobs, etc. can avoid getting into unnecessary competition. The third is created by nature and is not in my control, like having a puncher on way. I cannot avoid it. I need to be prepared. These three are called “taapa traya” – “three obstacles”. They are adhyaamika, adhibhoota and adhidaivika, respectively.

The journey is the goal. Here it is different from driving in the city. As I get more and more maturity in life, I understand that there is no worldly goal to be reached. Pleasure, possessions, fame, etc. cannot be goals. The goal is to lead a pure and dispassionate life, productive to the society, helpful to the acquaintances, friendly with everyone, etc. What I am is more important that what I have.


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One Response to Driving and Life

  1. Arjun Hareendran says:

    Good article. Wonderful analogy of Driving.

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