Change….Begins With You
It begins with you…
I started to respond to the “Please Stop Killing Cyclists” post, and after a couple hours of writing I realized this might be a better blog. Whenever I read a story about anyone losing a life in an accident it tears me up, life is so, so valuable and to have it snatched indiscriminately in a moment of carelessness is profoundly tragic.
Maybe we shouldn’t look at it like there is something wrong, and there is this big problem to solve, maybe we should step back and look for what’s missing, that if it were present, would make a difference. Kind of like when Peyton Manning is looking at the pictures on the sidelines after a drive doesn’t yield a touchdown, he’s not looking for what’s wrong, he’s looking for what he missed and usually in the second half, he’s not missing much. (Sorry, this is what happens when you get a former football player and Broncos Fan Loving the Bike).
So as I read about the accidents, no matter who’s at fault I see one glaring item missing, the presence of which would make a massive difference…..Integrity.
Now when I say integrity think of it like structure, for instance the spokes in a bicycle wheel. They all have to be properly adjusted to get the maximum performance out of your wheel. Sure, they loosen up as you ride and you routinely have to make adjustments, but if you don’t the wheel will eventually fail. Now think of traffic laws as spokes in the wheel of transportation…while driving a car how many times have you exceeded the speed limit, or drive while using a cellphone, or even singing and car dancing to your favorite song on the radio. Traffic laws apply to cyclists as well, like stopping at red lights and stop signs, or signaling other riders when you pass. Sure they may seem inconsequential, but what happens when you get a bunch of loose spokes?
Do I live a life of 100% integrity, absolutely not! However, I do work to make adjustments when I find myself out of integrity, like a bicycle wheel I too constantly require tweaking to perform well. The only thing we can really do is take this on, when it comes to integrity, be honest with yourself and respectful to others. Imagine how a driver might react if you acknowledged them and then you slowed as you approached an intersection or drive they are signaling to turn into, it might relieve some anxiety and avoid an accident or verbal confrontation. In that instant you could change how that motorist views cyclist, who could become a new advocate for sharing the road. I too fear that penalties for distracted driving, short of requiring the permanent surrender of a vehicle and the privilege to drive, will result in any real change. However, transformation can occur if integrity is restored and that is up to us.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Happy and Safe Riding…