Can you be kind, even in traffic?

In the past few weeks I have taken notice to my reactions to traffic.

A couple of weeks ago I was headed on a regular hour drive for a business meeting.  Southern California has a lot of traffic and often at not just regular business hour time frames.  But, with this route that I was taking, I rarely hit traffic.  I was not going into Los Angeles, but south of where I am.  The time of day that I was driving was before any commutes home from work would begin.  I was not expecting any traffic.  I don’t even think the possibility of traffic had crossed my mind, actually.

I was about twenty minutes into my drive, zooming down the highway, when I started to see some brake lights come on.  My initial reaction was, “Oh NO! I hope everyone is okay!” For the first time in what seems like an eternity my thoughts about traffic were those of compassion.

I did not go to a “WTF! why is there traffic?!” or a “UGH really SoCal, really you always have to have traffic?” or even a “CRAP, am I going to be late for my meeting?”

It wasn’t because I had left with plenty of time for traffic.  I hadn’t.  I left with only the exact amount of time it takes to get there with out ever slowing down.

I was shocked that for once I was not thinking about myself and how traffic was affecting me.  I was also shocked that I tend to not have this reaction to traffic everyday, when in fact there are often accidents.

The entire time that I inched along on the highway, I could feel my entire body praying for everyone who may have been involved.  When, really I had no evidence that an accident had even happened.  It could have been construction.  It could have been simply that a lot of people were traveling at the same time.  It could have been a number of things.

I never did see any evidence to explain the traffic and after a bit of time I was back to zooming along.  The traffic had passed, but that feeling did not.

This weekend though, I was taking that exact same route south but this time on a Saturday morning around 11:30am.  Again, I thought there would be no traffic on this route. What I had forgotten about was that it was Memorial weekend and that people were traveling for short getaways.  The traffic was like I had never seen going south.  I was pisssssed!

This time the idea of an accident did not pop to mind, when really there very well could have been an accident.  Yes, this was a more expected travel time, so traffic made more sense to me, like traffic makes sense to me when traveling to LA.

To be clear, I do not usually get super agro in traffic.  I accept it.  It is definitely not where I want to be, but I choose to live in Southern California where traffic is more common than no traffic.  I usually plan for traffic and sit tight singing along to my favorite jams or catching up with friends using my car’s hands free function.

But, still I was shocked that in my accepting traffic, I actually never acknowledged that the traffic could be in part because of accidents.  As someone who prides herself on being conscious and being a master space holder of compassion, wow, I shocked myself!  So, now I have new way of being to implement while being in traffic.  My new intention while I am in traffic, regardless of what it is caused by, is to take the time to send love, compassion and unity out into the world.  

For many years now, whenever I am feeling down it inspires me to be even more compassionate to strangers that I happen to share space with.  I remember when I lived in NYC I would just stop on the street and pause to send love out to everyone.  I am able to acknowledge that when I am sad, or lonely, or lost, or hurt: Life still goes on.  For me and for everyone.

 I may have just had a challenging day but I don’t know what anyone else has gone through today. {tweet it!}

The cashier checking me out may be a single mom of 3 kids with a mother who is fighting cancer.  The man who I pass in the grocery aisle may have just lost his wife and baby to a drunk driving accident.  The teen outside may have abusive alcoholic parents.  We never know what the people sharing the same space as us are dealing with.  We all just keep marching along, some with heavier feet and hearts then others.

So, whenever I am out in the world, I make sure to be conscious of this.  J. M. Barrie (creator of Peter Pan), really said it best…didn’t he?

Be Kinder Than Necessary.

 

So, how about it?  Will you join me in my mission to be kind, to be generous, to be loving, even in traffic?

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2 Responses to Can you be kind, even in traffic?

  1. jane Johnson says:

    I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your website, blogs and words of inspiration. I just wanted to tell you I think you are an amazing person! just in case you don’t here it today….. I think you are AWESOME!!!!!

  2. Tricia says:

    Thank you Jane! I truly appreciate every single comment and acknowledgment! Thanks for following, reading, supporting and in the process loving yourself up and owning your own awesome! xo

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