[COLUMN] Mindfulness as a survival skill (Part 1 of 2)

“Be present. It is the only thing that matters.” — Ways of the Peaceful Warrior

I nearly had a vehicular accident. Operative word: Nearly.

I was minding my business at a traffic stop when the vehicle before me decided to back up because her car was caught in the crosswalk. I then noticed that her white tail lights – a red flag warning me that she had left her car in reverse gear.

Instinctively I knew it was an accident waiting to happen. I was ready with just my senses, reflexes and an annoying horn to blast the danger away. But full disclosure and credit go to my Guardian Angels for the countless times of full protection. It is like being in tune with God’s cosmic script and being on the same page, all the time.

When the lights turned green, true enough, she stepped on the gas and was doing a fast reverse headed to the front of my car. I pounded on my horn and let out the screechiest, loudest, longest annoying honk, enough to scare the daylights out of her. And NO 3-fingered salute! It’s not something I want to give or receive in tenuous situations. Besides, my mother and the nuns who taught me will be aghast.

She braked about a hairline away from my car grille — and then froze. She didn’t know what to do and held up the lane longer. I had to hand signal her to go. The cars behind us were blasting away with their horns at being kept waiting, unaware that a chain collision that could involve them, has just been averted.

Whew! That was a close call. Imagine the hours that would have been lost never to return again if a crash did occur and you are left to tussle with insurance matters.

I don’t know whether she was a young, new driver, on the phone or just preoccupied with something. But when you are behind the wheel, it requires all of the neurons in your brains and all your senses to be engaged in just that one activity. Without it, you can do damage not only to yourself but sadly, to others as well, within your immediate physical orbit. I kept 3 car lengths as following distance until she turned left onto another street.

These are, indeed, the best of times. These are the worst of times as well. Charles Dickens could have said these words just as fittingly to apply to this crazy world we live in today.

I plead the case for mindfulness for everyone at all times and in all places.

Do you feel incomplete, naked, inept and insecure when you are not tethered electronically to your cellphone or your computer? Do you feel less of a person? Take heart. You are not alone.

(To be continued in next week’s issue…)

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail [email protected]  

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