Just the thought of driving in India brings back a flood of memories. First, there is the thrill (threat) of playing a constant game of chicken, with real cars and lives at stake. Second, you find the challenge of bringing just a moment of order in a sea of car, scooter, trust, and rickshaw chaos. Third, when you face the calm, balmy eyes of a cow blissfully staring at you with the clear message that he or she is not going to move.
Of all the memories, impressions, and nightmares, the one that has lasted the longest is the penetrating gaze of the cow who knows they are not at risk in the middle of the traffic storm. The peace that radiates is a clear lesson in how to live in the moment. For the driven facing this immovable, probably sacred, object, it is quite another story!
Cows have a special place in Hindu society. As a result, they are frequently allowed to blissfully stroll through the cities unfettered by anything. People avoid hurting them, drivers can honk but never hit or bump, tourist laugh and pet, and most get on with their lives without much thought. The ones who do face a decision are those trying to drive around or by the wondering animals.
Solomon wise remarks about people apply equally to cows.
“If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face; confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins.” (Proverbs 9.7)
But, I try anyways. I try to reason with arrogant cynics, work on confronting bad behavior, and make an attempt to call a problem a problem. I would like to believe that my motive is driven by where I believe I need to go, but it is not. I hope that my disclosures have the best interests of those exposed; if I reflect I know this is not true.
The solution to cows and obstacles is the same. Go around and get on with one’s journey. Focus on the important. Live in the grace of each moment.