Right next to my daughter’s school is a tricky un-manned, un-signalled T-junction. Vehicles that come towards the junction from the leg of the T have a blind spot to their right, and can cause (and have caused) accidents. For the past six years that I have driven past that junction, I have automatically tightened my nerves as I passed praying that my car and the others stay safe.
About six months back, a gentleman started manning the junction. He is NOT a policeman. He is the driver of one of the private vans that ferries the kids early to school. Once the kids are offloaded, he parks the van at a distant spot, comes to this junction and starts directing vehicles until the peak time is over, and the nursery school, the last to start after the secondary and primary are well underway, has started – a good two hours. Sun or rain, he is there, making sure people stay safe, and have a smooth drive across the T.
Neither the school nor the van operator pays him for the two hours he spends directing the traffic. His service most probably goes unnoticed by commuters who are always in a tearing hurry to drop off their wards and rush to work or home or wherever before peak traffic hits the main roads.
Many times I am tempted to ask him why he does this. But then, I remember the times that I am vexed about why I do anything at all, about the purpose of my daily actions or even existence, and what I get in return for what I’ve done, and suspect that I am getting an answer through his actions.
“You have a right to perform your prescribed action,but are not entitled to the fruits of your action. Do not let the fruit be the purpose of your actions, and thus be freed from attachment to the results of performing your duty.” – Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 2, verse 47.
Someday I will learn what it is like to be a nishkamya karma yogi. On that day, I will stop checking my site stats.