I saw a sign the other day that had two words on it “Be Kind” and it made me think about how we have forgotten some of the basic principles of human interaction. We have become an unkind society. Why is that? How much effort does it take to be kind? Based on what I see many of us have decided it is too much effort. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
One question that came to mind has to do with whether or not kindness has a part in racing. Sometimes we think of kindness as a show of weakness when in fact it take a great deal of restraint and strength to show kindness. Let’s take a look at the complexity of the word; respect, value, consideration, understanding, tolerance and unselfish. That is not an exhaustive list but it does cover many of the things I see lacking not only in racing but in the world around us.
I am aware of a debate about how the racing we see today compares with the racing of yesterday. Many “Old Timers” are not a fan of the way races are decided today. I would fall into that group. I am not sure of the answer but I am sure of the cause, lack of respect.
We have developed an attitude that all things are permissible if the outcome is what I want. We see that attitude throughout society, in every part of our lives. From the reluctance to obey traffic signs; right turn on red AFTER stop, to having 25 items in the 12 item or less line, to the recent run on TP. We have lost our sense of compassion, consideration and thoughtfulness. Living that way has brought us to this place of angst and division in our daily lives. We are no longer in this together, it is me against the world.
I remember a time when you looked out for others, you understood the challenges we all face and considered that when you made choices. Today when we see someone our thought process prompts us to get there first, get your share, don’t let them beat you to it. Whatever means is necessary to get what you want, forget about anyone else.
How does this play out in the racing we see on the track? The bump and run. A lack of respect between competitors that seems more prevalent today. Now we can debate when and how it started. We can debate who is at fault, the bumper or the bumpee, but the fact remains the lack of respect and understanding we have for one another shows up in the racing we see. Blocking, using two grooves, changing the point where you pick up the throttle or lift going into the corner are all techniques to keep the faster car behind you, but we all know that when the laps wind down you will be moved.
I really admire the patience of the driver who tries everything to make a pass only to be thwarted by the slower car. My hope would be that when all those maneuvers are exhausted the slower car picks a lane, holds their line and lets the faster car pass. Unfortunately, when you arrive on the bumper of a car that you have had an encounter with before, you don’t sit and wait for the opportunity, you take matters into your own hands.
All the discussion and all the he said she said on social media will not solve this. The drivers involved know what they do and why they do it. Until they honestly share what they did to one another the truth of the matter will not come to light. I am not saying just move over and let them by. It is okay to make them earn it. What I am saying is if it’s not your day, it’s not your day and no matter how hard you try to obstruct the proceedings it will not be your day. The fate of your day will be placed in the hand on the wheel of the car behind you. I hope they treat you with kindness but I’m pretty sure when the time comes you will have worn out your welcome.
I won’t even get into the unintended consequences of selfish actions. When our focus is on ourselves we struggle to give consideration to our surroundings and how our actions will affect others. But if we get a handle on this kindness thing there will be less collateral damage I am sure.
I have written about the Golden Rule, Treat others as you would want to be treated, but it seems we are forgetful people. There are some who take advantage of the kindness of others. We should be different than that.
Ephesians 4:31-32; Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
We don’t need to be so judgmental and angry. We can choose to show grace and mercy. A friend of mine who has been through some very difficult circumstances had a perspective I want to share.
He said; “Not everything that happens to you in life is necessarily your fault. However, it is your responsibility with how you choose to deal with these things. We always have a choice. Choose Love. Choose kindness.”
Thank you Gene for reminding us that we always have a choice. The choice we make will determine the results. Don’t lose sight of the fact that good produces good and evil produces evil. Good never can produce evil and evil can never produce good. Choose wisely.
Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.