Advice from My Priest About Being Kind on the Road

Almost every day, there seems to be an unsettling post on FB about someone being cut off by a crazy driver or a pedestrian who was nearly hit by a speeding car. This week, a friend’s daughter tripped in the street on her way to school and literally had to roll out of the way as a car sped past her not even noticing that she’d fallen. It can make for a pretty unpleasant start to the day. I know: we’re all in a rush and have busy lives. And sometimes, the crazy person behind the wheel turns out to be someone that you recognize!

omg, i know her!

I’m not innocent. I’ve had my angry moments too and have wished that there was a partition between me and my kids to protect them from the ugliness that at times spews from my mouth. And there have been times where I unintentionally made a mistake behind the wheel and wished that there was an international sign for “I’m so sorry–my mistake!!! So sorry!!!”

No matter what religion you are, I think you’ll appreciate some advice that I got from our priest a while back that has stayed with me because of its simplicity and practicality.

His suggestion went something like this: “I know all of you try to live your lives as good people. I’d like to suggest that you try to be kinder…behind the wheel.” This was something small that each of us could do every single day that would have a big impact in our friends and neighborhoods. He asked that we try to control our emotions and anger on the road. Everyone is talking about living “mindfully.” Well, it can start here.

Think about it. If you are like me, when someone does something kind on the road, you are shocked and your heart grows two sizes! Wave me into your lane during rush hour and I will be overjoyed! I will thank you profusely with my overzealous waving and my faith in humankind will be restored! Small kindnesses can go a long way so mind your manners on the road!

So here are a few suggestions on from Father Tom from Ohio on how to be kinder behind the wheel:
• Be patient.
• Drive a little slower.
• Resist honking.
• Stop for pedestrians – especially children.
• Yield when you’re supposed to yield.
• Wave thank you when someone lets you in their lane.
• Resist speeding up when someone’s trying to change lanes — just be nice and wave them in! 

*If I could add one little request that only pertains to me… if you see me faced with the impossible task of crossing Godwin Avenue at 8:27am when it is backed up all the way into Midland Park, can you please let me cross? Thank you! I promise I will wave and smile!

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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