Doesn’t it cheese you off when pedestrians walk right into your carving path without so much as looking up? And the biker who whizzed past so close, you could count the hairs on the back of his neck – he didn’t even say “on your left”! What a jerk, right? But what if you learned that the absent-minded pedestrian just found out he had six months to live? What if the biker was in another world because he just got fired and was desperately trying to figure out how he was going to feed his family and pay the mortgage next week? Does that change your reaction? Yeah, it probably does. What if we granted everyone who offends us the latitude we would allow the pedestrian and the biker? Doing so could change the world – or at least our own little corner of it.
We get so wrapped up in ourselves that we lose sight of what others may be going through. I know I do… When someone does something that rubs me the wrong way, my first reaction is usually defensive: how dare they do such a thing to me?! But is that the best reaction? Probably not. While there are definitely circumstances when defensiveness is necessary to guard yourself from harm, for most of our daily someone-just-pulled-out-in-front-of-me situations, choosing to be defensive is not the way to go.
One small choice can make a big difference. If you were the absent-minded pedestrian, wouldn’t you appreciate it if the oncoming trikker chose to smile at you instead of calling you a jerk? How different a course might your day take if the trikker did call you a jerk – or worse? After being insulted like that, would you be more likely to go home and fuss at your kid, or would you be more likely to hug him and tell him how much you love him? What effect would your behavior have on your kid’s day? One choice can be a powerful and contagious thing.
These machines we ride get noticed wherever we go, and that means we riders get noticed too. Just as people will remember our über-cool carving vehicle, they will remember how we trikkers treated them. Whether we realize it or not, each of us is a de facto ambassador for the Trikke brand, and each ride is a chance to leave a lasting impression on others. What if we chose to spread a little extra kindness with each ride? Like throwing a stone into a calm pond, the ripples from our kind words and deeds keep going long after we’ve forgotten about them. Think about what might happen if each of us chose to make a kindness-ripple each time we ride. Before long, we’d have a kindness-tsumani!
Consider this little blog a challenge to see beyond yourself and to extend extraordinary kindness and understanding to those around you. (If all else fails, just smile at somebody!) Together we carvers can create change – one ride, one smile, one kindness at a time.