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P.B. called to see Mr. H.B.W. at his office on legal business. He offered to take P.B. to his hotel, as he was travelling home in the same direction. At a very busy intersection, the back of another car got in the way of our taxi. It would not or could not move and soon we were caught amongst and surrounded by a number of other vehicles. We were jammed on every side. Our driver became very angry with the man whose poor driving had created this awkward situation. He shouted imprecations in a loud voice. After two minutes the taxi was able to free itself but, throughout all that period, a volume of vocal abuse poured out uninterruptedly in a strong Brooklyn accent. H.B.W. got tired of hearing this and turned to P.B. and criticized the man. There was no partition between the driver and his passengers, so he was able to overhear them. P.B. replied: "What is the use of criticizing this man? His nerves are upset, his emotions are excited simply because he does not know any better and cannot help being what he is. What is the use of expecting him to behave like a philosopher and become detached from the troubles of the passing moment? He has never even heard of the existence of philosophy." The next morning the lawyer telephoned to P.B. and said: "I thought you might be interested to know that after I dropped you at your hotel the taxi driver turned to me and said: "Say, who is that guy who was with you just now? Is he some kind of monk?" H.B.W. asked him why he wished to know. He replied: "I heard what that guy said to you, and when he finished speaking, something changed inside me. I did not feel mad at the other fellow any more. I seemed to get very calm. I never had such an experience before. I can't understand it. Its wonderful!"


-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 6: The Profane and The Profound > # 197






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