A Dharma Glimpse by Khema
I have noticed a number of road works recently popping up on the road between my house and town and with them temporary traffic lights. I usually come across these when I’m running late and invariably the lights are always on red. I work predominantly from home these days which I enjoy so I don’t travel this route as frequently -so I’d usually know in advance of roadworks . Previously Id find myself working out an elaborate way of avoiding them where possible. Thoughts go through my head about jumping the red light when it takes too long to change and there’s no other traffic coming from the opposite direction. Are they broken? I’m often irritated by these temporary lights and the road works and a number of questions repeat inside my head. I Wonder why there is never any one working whenever I pass? Why is this stretch of road being dug up yet again. Don’t they know how inconvenient this is? Could they not coordinate their jobs – 3 sets of different road works and lights in the same week on the same stretch of road. REALLY!!!!Doesn’t seem like good planning to me?
I’m not sure why they invoke such negative feelings so I’ve tried to explore why. Why do they upset and irritate me so much. Why does this bring me suffering. When I’m home and sat with a cuppa or a cat on my lap, these thoughts seem so irrational. Any yet they pop up almost every time.
As routine traffic lights don’t have the same impact. I believe that ultimately, it’s usually because I have given myself the exact amount of time to get where I’m going and not left a buffer. I remember Kaspa referring to this term several years ago and ive held on to this term ever since. A buffer allows for any mishaps or unplanned events on the way such as tractors or sheep which is fairly frequent where I live or simply just busy traffic- or of course temporary traffic light that you don’t anticipate. So instead I get annoyed with the lights and not myself. Is it easier to be angry at an inanimate object. This is silly for many reasons. A red light is not a thinking, sentient being as we are. They are pieces of automated equipment which preform specific tasks in a technical and objective way. So by definition, they can not be out to get you or ruin your day, even though it may feel like that at times . Some individuals even go as far as yelling at these objects as if they can hear us and reflect on their wrongdoing. Resistentialism is a jocular theory to describe “seemingly spiteful behaviour manifested by inanimate objects”,where objects that cause problems are said to exhibit a high degree of malice toward humans.
I can understand being upset with actual living , thinking beings , capable of making moral decisions but being angry at objects such as a traffic light is not logical behaviour and once you accept that it is not logical to be angry at inanimate objects or equipment , there will be a feeling of relief and understanding that comes over you. Any most definitely always give yourself a buffer.
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