April 17, 2019.
Following occurred to me during our Camino Frances. I decided the category for this post will be different as I want to touch on this topic in somewhat depth.
Most of us who drive have a destination in mind when we are driving. Getting to said destination is the objective. If we own vehicles, we may opt for a more premium vehicle, so that it is a more comfortable drive with various auto-cruise and safety features, so that we arrive safely and in a relaxed state. If we are driving on country roads, we will likely pay attention to the road conditions a bit more.
As a Camino pilgrim, there were a handful of occasions when we had to walk many km along country roads. If you have experienced this, you know how different the slip stream and noise is from vehicles traveling past at 30 mph to 50 mph. There’s a reason why speed limits in American school zones are 20 mph.
I had seen a vehicle which I estimated was probably traveling at about 40-45 mph along this country road. It did not even brake nor slow down when passing fellow pilgrims walking ahead of us.
That driver was so cocooned in his/her vehicle that he/she was totally de-sensitized to the effects being felt by walking pedestrians by the speed of their vehicle.
Are we sometimes cocooned in our jobs, in our positional status, in our wealth class, in our educational superiority, etc that we don’t really sense how others around us are being affected? Or even care?
If we ourselves have been subject to this ‘slip stream/noise’ by those ‘above’ us in life, does that increase our empathy for others?
Life can be all about me. Or it can mean much more.