Duh! "Get in your car" means just that. Get in, don't "become" your car. The car isn't your identity, it's how you get around in the world.

Pay attention. Wake up. Be aware of what you're doing. Try to think of yourself walking down the sidewalk as you come to other cars. What would you do if you accidentally bumped into that guy or brushed her a bit? Ooops sorry 'bout that. Excuse me. Pardon... Start thinking this way in your car.

You're going to be doing something new today! It's going to be opposite of what you have been taught to do. Instead of "taking up space" or "holding your position" or however you use your car, you're going to give that back. You're going to understand (or at least try) what the other drivers around you are thinking/doing/going. Then you're going to be compassionate of what they're going through and give them the space they need.

The Last Donut

The Last Donut is a story from The Diamond Cutter, a book about putting Buddhist concepts to practice in business.

The story goes something like this…

You’re standing in line for a donut.  A very specific donut.  Your favorite donut.  One that made you get out of bed and show up to wait in line at this delectable donut shop.  Picture your favorite.

You’re next.  The guy behind you is talking to his friend, “Oh I can wait for that {insert favorite donut}!!  That’s the best donut in town man!

NEXT!  You’re up.  When you get to the counter there is the last donut {your favorite}.  And so in order to get {your favorite donut}, and exactly because you like this flavor, you order a different kind and let the other person have the only {favorite} donut there. The idea is that two things happen: you provide this person with what they were wishing for, and you plant lots of mental seeds that assure you many, many {favorite donuts} in the future.  (Adapted from page 256, The Diamond Cutter)

What happens to me in traffic is exactly the same.  The more I give my space to someone else who wants the same thing, I end up getting more of my favorite space.  It’s magic I tell you!

Commuting Peace and Love with Understanding

I took this very challenge some time ago by “giving” unconditionally or Loving the drivers around me.  I drove with this sort of angelic trance.  I saw people in need of a little space, so I gave it.  This isn’t a call to drive “passively”.  This is an active concept.  This isn’t waving someone in front of you at a 4-way stop out of your turn, do try to follow the rules of the road and right of way, THAT’s kind.  This is letting that guy in the parking lot back up.  This is giving an extra car length of space to the car in front of you.

WHAT!!??  I can hear you saying it now….but that guy is going to cut me off and get in front of me!!  That’s right, he’s going to make you 3 seconds later to where you’re going.  I’m suggesting that you give him that time, that space, unconditionally.  See what it does to your commute.

Try it yourself!  What’s going to happen if you start driving nice?  Are you going to risk having a better day?!!  Is somebody going to wave at you with all 5 fingers instead of one?!!