One of the most important teachings in life is to be safe. Always looking both ways before crossing a street, wearing your seatbelt and being a careful driver, for instance. When I leave the house, my mom always says, “Drive safe.” These cautious measures help keep us out of harm’s way and allow us to live healthy lives.
Another value that I think a majority of people deem to be extremely important is kindness. My parents raised me with the instructions to always be kind to others. Kindness is everywhere − in schools, on the streets, in friendships and even in encounters with strangers. So this year for World Kindness Day, which takes place tomorrow, let’s try to “drive safe” as my mom would say, but also “drive kind.” Here are a few ways my friends and I are going to celebrate by “driving kind.”
A commitment to kindness
As part of my personal commitment to driving kind, I intend to be extra considerate of other drivers. For example, if someone is trying to get over in front of me, even if it may be a large van and I am in a rush, I will let them get over. I always think about how stressful driving can be when I’m pressed to get over to reach an exit on the highway, or make a turn, and I cannot get there. I would like to save someone from this stress and let them get over so they can get where they need to be without the hassle of having to reroute.
My friend Lindsay, who drives to class, will refrain from using her horn the entire day, even if she finds herself smack in the middle of crazy Austin traffic.
Rides for others
Jill said that she “would like to offer rides to friends and others.” In a small way, this deed will also help save the planet. By carpooling we use less gas and end up with the added benefit of spending quality time with friends. “If someone really needs a ride to class or wants to go to the grocery store, I will offer to take them,” Jill said.
Another friend, Annie, promises to “smile and wave at other drivers while at a stop light or standstill.” A small gesture such as a smile and wave could brighten someone’s day. “Even a small human connection such as a wave can be an act of kindness amidst all the chaos of driving,” Annie said.
My roommate, Katie, says she can be a kind driver by “buying someone else a tank of gas.”
These small acts of kind driving that my friends and I will test out for World Kindness Day may seem trivial, but could possibly have a large impact on someone’s day. Something to make them smile and appreciate the smaller things in life, like a random person at the gas station giving them a gift. We will help spread some kindness while driving and hopefully everyone else can remember to be kind and considerate both on and off the roads on World Kindness Day…and every day.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is one of many organizations celebrating World Kindness Day and has more inspiration and ideas to mark the occasion. Take a look at www.randomactsofkindness.org/world-kindness-day.