"Impermanence is swift; life-and-death is the vital matter."
On my drive home today, I saw a horrific automobile accident develop right in front of me, even as I was moving along with the flow of traffic at more than 70 mph. An 18-wheeler truck just a few car lengths ahead of me crossed out of its lane and bumped into a car off on its right front side, knocking the car forward like a billiard ball. While parts were flying off of its chassis, the car pinwheeled around in front of the truck and then slammed into the concrete traffic barrier with a loud crash.
I tapped my brakes as I saw the accident about to occur in order to stay behind the impact, and smelled the burnt rubber of the tires as I passed. I noted the license number of the truck in case it kept driving, but it did pull over and stop.
I'd like to say that no one was killed but I honestly don't know. I can't find anything about it on the news, as sadly this is a fairly routine incident in Atlanta, and most people just experience it not as a human tragedy but as an irritating traffic jam.
The truck driver didn't expect it to happen. The driver of the car certainly didn't expect it to happen. I didn't expect to see it happen, and it reminds me of just how fragile and impermanent our existence here on Earth is.
Be kind to each other. They or you may not be here tomorrow.
"Grass, trees, and bushes are impermanent and are nothing but potential. Human beings and things, and body and mind, are impermanent and are nothing but potential. The earth, mountains, and rivers are impermanent because they are potential. Supreme awareness (anuttara-samyak-sambodhi) is impermanent, since it is potential."