My brother just had a baby and my girlfriend and I were on the way to the hospital for a visit. We held hands, sang along to the latest Miley Cyrus, and enjoyed a perfect summer evening in Southern California. Could life be any better? As I was trying to make a left into the turn lane, I hesitated, thus holding up the guy in the car behind me.
The guy went apeshit bananas leaning on his horn as if avoiding a runaway freight train. In my rear view mirror, I saw his face which was heightened with even more emotion than the lady whose boob I accidentally grabbed in a yoga class in 2003.
If you aren’t the one raging, surely you’ve encountered similar outbursts of anger, impatience, and hostility. Earlier this week, a 28-year-old man was arrested after a road rage incident in which police say he pointed a loaded shotgun at a family with children in the back seat. Or maybe you heard about the guy who stabbed another man with a screwdriver after arguing over a parking spot.
Have you not found yourself wanting to cuss the slow Starbucks barista, or pound your fist when the internet is down, or glare at the woman in yoga class who moans during every single pose?
Why are we so impatient, angry, and hostile?
Author Abraham Heschel writes that most of us live in the realm of space. We worship things, property, and technology that enable us to fill and conquer our surroundings. I would argue that at the expense of becoming more connected with the space around us, we’re becoming less and less connected with the space within us. When we lack access to our depth. we’re bound to lash out like a rabid dog or a starving bear or Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman.
Heschel describes the importance of “the sacred”…whether it be a place or a day or a time. Without the sacred, the world feels like a confining space where something as simple as a moan in yoga class is as lethal as a shart on a road trip. God knows if you’ve ever sharted on a road trip, that rest stop 30 miles back sure would have been a better option. So before it gets ugly, let us all take a moment to pull over, get out, and as they did in the old days (ie the early 1990′s)…rest.