Thursday, January 14, 2010

* Trafficking with Faith on Our Asphalt Altars

Against a background of wars and greed which dominate our world, this may seem like a rather simpleminded, naive observation.

It is something I have felt for years. It is something which rears its handsome head every time I park my car in a public shopping mall or drive on a highway or back road.

Traffic renews my faith in human beings.

Especially parked traffic.

Parked traffic?


Every time I turn the ignition off and open my door, I am impressed at the care I take not to nick the side of the car next to me with my door. But more important, I am impressed at how everyone I have ever seen open his/her car door has done exactly the same thing.

I think once, in my 47-years of driving, have I seen a person open a car door with sloppy abandon and indifference to the car next to it.


Given the billions of times a day which this minor event occurs in the world it is not only a remarkable fact that people behave with such care and consideration, but more, it is a remarkable fact that people park their sometimes beautiful and expensive vehicles next to other vehicles with a kind of FAITH that their cars will not be knicked or scratched while temporarily abandoned.

I know:

There a millions of fender-benders in the world every day, and road rage, and traffic violations ad nauseum.

But think of the trillions and trillions of auto interactions which occur on the planet every day WITHOUT accident or damage.

Traffic itself is an act of colossal faith in one's fellow human beings:

Faith and trust that I wont be bashed, banged, bumped, or otherwise damaged---and that I myself won't bang, bash or bump others too.


Driving and parking in our modern world are not only acts of faith, they are certification that faith is real.Billions of acts of tangible faith are ritualized in ceremonies on the asphalt altars of our civilization every minute of the day every day of the year somewhere on our planet.


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