Jerry Martin’s Daybook

When I started reading the great Indian religious texts, I wanted a better feel for the cultural context. So off we went to India. I expected to be flooded with spiritual moments, but had only one, approaching a shrine to the Buddha, reported in the book. In no other country, have I ever taken great note of the culture of life on the highways, but this is my most striking impression of India. The lanes are treated like suggestions. Vehicles of all types – including elephants and other animals – wander from one lane to the next, or straddle them, or sometimes share them with another small vehicle. “In India, we have no road rage,” we were told. Two odd vehicles got their wheels entangled. There was no blame, no anger. The wheels were quietly disentangled and all went on. Their spiritual life at work? I am sometimes asked how my encounter with God changed me, at first it seemed to me that I was still very much the same person. But I noticed one thing: now I am nicer to other drivers. Well, it’s a start.

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