Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Dear Motorist,

This post was inspired by a nice video of the same name. Whereas I find the content of the video appropriate, I don't feel that it sends the right message. This is the message I would like to share.

(You can find a link to that video at the end of the post, since I don't want to detract from my content too much).

Dear Motorist,

I, on behalf of myself and the rest of the people who walk, run, cycle, skate, or whatever else we're doing on the road but not in a car, want to thank you. From the whole of my heart and the very essence of my being, you are awesome and your behaviors need to be shared.

There are many examples in the media citing the imaginary war between the people who recreate on the streets versus the people who drive on the road. There are some of your brethren who behave poorly. They throw things out of their cars; objects or words. But not you, Dear Motorist. You are polite and respectful. You go about your daily business taking no insult in our presence.

There are other motorists who will purposefully point their vehicles at others on the road. We, the victims of this behavior, call this 'buzzing' or 'near misses'. But not you, Dear Motorist. You will see us in the distance and take action to avoid getting close to us. I've seen you do this thousands of time. Whether it be steering your car over the double yellow line to grant us more space or slowing your speed to make life a little less stressful for us both, I've seen it. I've even seen you increase your speed so that you could cross the lines, give us a safe distance, and resume your normal driving before on-coming traffic arrives. Even though few recognize this, I think you are amazing for a simple gesture that, at its worst, eases our piece of mind and, at its best, saves lives. You and I know that we don't own anything in that public arena but our actions and you, Dear Motorist, show that you know exactly what it means to share the road.

I've seen some of the other motorists who are not paying attention to their motoring responsibilities. A few drivers feel the need to talk on the phone, text, or drive shortly after drinking. Some, through only the fault of inattentiveness, don't even see the other people on the road. But not you, Dear Motorist. You know that your number 1 job is driving and you do it well. Your eyes are focused. You scan the traffic and the lanes for any possible obstacle. You see danger long before it happens and take steps to prevent disaster. You recognize that the conversation or the intoxicant can wait until a more appropriate time when you are not going to be behind the wheel.

You are the type of motorist that I like, Dear Motorist. You are the driver who sees me in the distance when it is dark and turns off your high beams so that I can see better. You are the driver who doesn't feel the need to speed up to get in front of me just to turn the corner, AKA the left or right hook. You are the person who will sit and wait a little longer than expected at a stop sign and wave me on just so I can safely cross in front of your vehicle.

I give you my promise, Dear Motorist, that I will do my part ensure both your and my safety as well. I will make sure that I am visible. I will make sure that I am on the side of the road as much as possible. I, like a majority of the others, don't feel the need to 'blow through stop signs or stop lights'. I have no plans to dart out in front of you. I will look both ways before crossing. I know the rules of the road just as well as you and will do my very best to follow them. Please forgive me for some of my errors just as I forgive yours. I recognize that I am an unexpected nuisance at times. However, you are a great person who knows that a few seconds of patience is far better than risking someone's life.

I understand, Dear Motorist, that you are in the majority. There are so many great and wonderful Dear Motorists that are just as amazing as you. It's a shame that the people who make the headlines in this culture are the ones who mess it up. Their transgressions are aired in multi-media platforms lighting the bitter fire for others to see. Isn't that the way of the world, though, sad as it seems? You, personally, do a hundred heroic acts a day, put no one at risk, and get glanced over for fame and fortune. You don't hurt anyone with your vehicle. Never have, never will. You, like more than 99% of the other drivers on the road, are the ones who deserve the attention. Well, Dear Motorist, you have mine. Each and every time we cross paths and you show your awesomeness, I'm there with a friendly smile on my face and/ or a wave of my hand. I know it isn't much but it's all I have. It's my way of thanking you for you excellence in this mostly great society of ours.

So, Dear Motorist, please continue your magnificence. Continue to set the example even when you think no one is looking. Trust me, you are a leader on the roads. Your behaviors are stunning and contagious. Other motorists see your movements and mimic them, simply because they know truth when they see it. And, I see it. I notice. I celebrate. We are brothers and sisters on the road and I am proud to be linked to the likes of you.


The Banter

(As promised, here's the link to the video that got me thinking about this post.)

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