A friend of mine has a hidden love affair with the expressways in the Philippines. Whenever life tosses her a curveball, she'd immediately grab her car keys head off to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).
Me, myself, and I - she would say - and the faithful radio, the whirr of my car's engine, and my thoughts. And the open road. Behind me. Before me.
To say that she has a fascination with the open roads is an understatement. She'd go back and forth the expressway until her thoughts are clearer and her plans are far firmer.
These days, it's difficult to find open roads - specially near the cities.
Most roads are covered by slow-moving cars, slowed by other slow-moving cars. As if we were victims of others - our fate intertwined with others', our identities intertwined by how others' are defined.
A lot of people see themselves only in relation to others - "relative to others", "relative to others' standards".
"I am only good if I am better than others" seems to be the dictum that we are operating in these days. "I am only excellent if I am better than this other racer beside me."
So much so that we forget the open roads before us.
We are so intent on getting ahead "relative to others" - so intent on looking sideways or behind - that we forget to look at the open roads ahead.