"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!"
- Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Driving With Patience

Unfortunately, we live in a sprawling community where carrying out our daily chores by foot is very difficult. We do manage to walk the mile to the store, ballet lessons, farmers market and other services at our nearby shopping center, but the next nearest service/shopping center is some 3 miles away in a town where drivers are hardly bicycle friendly. So, like so many Americans, we drive too much.

The project: Drive charitably.
I'm usually a pretty friendly driver, but I have my moments. Today, while running errands, I made a point of being as aware of other motorists as I would be of loose rocks on a hike, children underfoot, nails at a construction site.


Why bother?
It peeves me when people are rude while driving. It's unsafe, first of all, and why do people have to be so darned rude anyway? If I signal to change lanes, that is NOT a sign for the nearest vehicle to speed up and close the gap they've left open for miles. If I drive kindly and share a smile, will that help turn the tide?

Worth it?
Yielding to mindless drivers probably won't make a difference (except that I felt more peaceful about being on the road), but yielding at four-way stops and waving pedestrians on to make clear I'd seen them led to smiles and waves of gratitude improving the mood of everyone involved.

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