According to Wikipedia defensive driving is “driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others”. As the coronavirus continues to impact our world and life as we used to know it there has been a lot of feelings that people have when in public to wear or not wear a face mask. The reasons are many. Some individuals feel that COVID19 is not real, others see it as a political debate, wearing a face mask impinges on our freedom, the mask can cause medical issues, it’s discrimination, you tested negative for the coronavirus so this is not a concern, you are tough and won’t get sick, or it’s just not cool. People feel this way despite scientific evidence that states wearing a mask can protect you and others from getting the coronavirus.
I learned many years ago that the only thing I have control over, for the most part, is me. The choices and actions I take, how I treat myself and others in the world. I believe the coronavirus is real. I know kids and adults who have gotten sick. There are individuals in my life who have had multiple people in their life die due to the coronavirus. So while this debate continues to go on for some people I have been and am going to continue to navigate the world like a defensive driver. I am going to wear a mask for you.
As I take time to reflect on my life I realize for a long time that is how I have operated in the world. Think of it. We are all drivers of our worlds, our lives, our own personal vehicles. How do you want to get around in the world and along with others? Do you want to be enjoying your drive while keeping alert in case another driver might crash into you? When you see a red light do you want to keep going your current speed and then slam to a stop or begin slowing down before you need to stop. If someone else is not driving safely do you want to curse them out, get up right behind them, and put everyone in danger? Or do you want to give them space and send good vibes their way if there driving is well, dangerous?
So as COVID19 continues to continue I am operating as a defensive driver. Do I like wearing the mask. Nope. Will I wear a mask? Yep. I am wear my mask because I want to keep you safe, just as if I were driving my car I would take action to avoid crashing into you. I have not been tested for the coronavirus and I do not have any symptoms. However if I found out I had it and passed it on to someone who became sick or more I would feel beyond terrible. BEYOND! When I am out in public if people are not wearing masks and making choices I am uncomfortable with, I will steer away, change direction, and give them some distance. I will use hand sanitizer, wash my hands, and do everything I can with my actions to keep you safe and myself as well. I don’t want anyone to get sick. I do believe no one wants that either.
If you choice is to not wear a mask perhaps you could take a moment to reflect and ponder your choice. Would you crash your car into someone else? I don’t think so. What if you did not know you had the coronavirus and passed it on to someone else? How would you feel? Perhaps if we think about being defensive drivers and operate from a place of safety, care, and concern for others in addition to ourselves that framework can help in the decisions we make.
Graham Brown said “Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we are proud of. Some will haunt us forever. The message: We are what we choose to be.”
While writing this feels a little “lecturing” I am writing from my heart. I want all of us to be safe and healthy. I don’t want anyone to get sick from the coronavirus. I believe that if every single one of us takes action in following the safety guidelines of face mask wearing, social distancing, hand sanitizing, hand washing we can stop this virus. They did it in New Zealand. Perhaps the United States can be next. If you have not been wearing a face mask please consider wearing it to protect others around you. I will wear mine to protect you.
May your defensive driving be with you💜