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Be active, not reactive.

On my way to teach a Yoga class that I knew no one would show up for because we are all too busy or too tired (from being so busy) for such frivolities, I try to figure out why it is that we are indeed, so busy. Some people have large families that count on them with homes that need cleaning, dinners that need making, husbands and children that need taking care of. Some have jobs that actually save lives putting out fires in need of extinguishing, preventing crimes, performing operations that determine lives. And most are somewhere in between. Used to be that we worked and then we stopped. Now, the work never stops. This left me wondering. Is it that there really is more work and time is moving quicker, or is it that we have started living completely reactive lives, constantly waiting. Waiting for the work to stop, waiting for the children to grow up, waiting for the economy to turn, waiting for the time to be right.

As I ponder all these questions, I see the quick lateral movement of the car behind me, suddenly shifting into the lane to my right, giving the pick up truck in front of him very little space and time to stop and give him room. The driver of the pick up truck gives a short honk to which the hurried car responds to by slamming on the brakes hard enough to make the tires screech and smoke. As we continue to drive, the car continues to play this game a few more times, each time more aggressive and with diminished distance between him and the pick truck behind him.

Finally, at the following red traffic light, he pulls into the slow lane and jumps out of his car. The young man runs over to the pick up truck and proceeds to shout and violently punch the car on the passenger’s side. He then runs to the driver’s side, rage boiling within him. The driver decides that this is not a fight he wants to fight and quickly pulls into the last right lane in front of the parked car and drives away, the light luckily having turned green. The young man runs back into his car and follows the car.

Determined that this will not be one of those times that will leave me saying “I wish I said/did something”, I try to get his license plate number so that I may call the police and report the incident; who knows how far this might get carried. However, I am too slow. Once more, he quickly shifts left into the middle lane and right again into the slow lane, cutting of the pick up truck once more, continuing into an immediate parking lot.

He reached the parking lot perhaps half a second before I did.

Again, I was left to wonder. For all his rushing, did he get there any quicker? For all his rage, did he get all the money/fame/recognition/etc. that he desired? If he was less stressed, would he have reacted the same? Did he consciously decide that he would get out of his car and attempt to physically harm another human being after he himself was the offender or did he simply react, already at a point beyond control before even entering the car? What would have happened should he have encountered a youth much like himself rather than some working man on his way back from work? How often does he stop to look and consider his life, his actions, his choices? And what about us, the regular, pre-snap folk? How many of us are unknowingly on the brink of something similar? How many of us are so busy that we have stopped paying attention to our thoughts, words, and deeds?

I could only speculate as to the answers of any of these questions. But there is one question that I DO know that answer to:

Does he take any Yoga?


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