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Poetry

A Driver’s Philosophy

by Chengde Chen

A driver must be an all-round philosopher
How can a vehicle not be loaded with doctrines?

He must be a common-sense materialist
believing the destination can’t be reached without petrol

But he must also be a conscientious idealist
It is his vigilant mind that secures his very existence

He is surely a logical positivist
pursuing the operational meaning of every sign all the way

But he is an existentialist as well
‘Safety first’ is his ‘existence prior to essence’

He is usually a rigid dogmatist
stopping behind the line without crossing it by an inch

But sometimes he can be a risk-taking pragmatist
suddenly deciding to alter the definition of a red light

He is the greatest humanist with the highest sensitivity
Each brake saves a life – the benevolence competes with God’s

But he is also a self-centred egoist made of iron and steel
allowing no one to enter the time and space he is in

No philosopher can master dialectics as proficiently as he can
From Plato to Wittgenstein, all should be counted as retarded

They talk about philosophy, while he lives it and drives it
Starting, accelerating, turning are his defining, judging, inferring

It is because philosophy can’t be as vast as life
that life can at least be as deep as philosophy

© CHENGDE CHEN 2005

(Chengde Chen is author of Five Themes of Today, Open Gate Press, London. email: chengde@sipgroup.com)

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