We, as scooterists in the Detroit area, practice forgiveness as a daily pursuit. Sure, our risks are high, sharing the roads in and around Detroit. Just a couple of weeks ago (before the snow) a left-hand turner didn’t see me on my scooter as she turned left into a Troy post office. It was a common occurrence, and thankfully, I saw her “tell” (car moving and her gaze long down the road behind me) a hundred feet away. I applied both brakes and luckily, the person behind me was both giving me room and was aware enough to notice that I had slowed. We all survived and continued on our way. I forgave the left-turner, and was appreciative about the careful driving of my follower (and the giant brake lights of the Honda Reflex). As often as something like this happens, I’ve learned to just let them go. I used to waste my time, energy and yes, safety, by catching up to these people and giving them a piece of my mind, usually one finger at a time. I don’t do that anymore, I’ve learned that it just doesn’t matter.
I’ve often thought of placing a message on my scooter’s headset. It would say “Ride On.” I’d not have time to look at it during these situations, but I would know that it was there. And that’s what we, as scooterists, should do… just ride on, forgive and forget.
Forgiveness is not an easy thing to do, and maybe as we are on our tiny scooters, we get a kind of chip on our shoulder. We can think that the big old cars (and trucks and minivans and SUVs) are specifically targeting us… but they (usually) aren’t. And even though a mishap is literally life threatening (for us), riding with precision, and with your head up, can help you practice forgiveness. Gandhi said, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Just ask a fellow scooterist – not only are we the strongest folks on the road, skill-wise, we are also the strongest when it comes to forgiveness – we have to be. We forgive people on the road every day, and sometimes they forgive us. It’s all part of the cycle of our lives.
Now is the time of year to come together and consider 2012 in review – the highs and the lows. Maybe it was your family expanding, great times by the lake or just a satisfying job and good friends. Of course, there were the scooter moments – the first ride of the year (and the bittersweet last one), popping out to the store for a quick run, maybe even commuting and enjoying the ride home after a good day at work. Maybe you installed some shiny new accessories or even got a new scooter. Perhaps you had an adventure and got to ride in a real tow truck! These memories will linger in your mind and may someday constitute one of those elusive “best times.” You may look back from your old age, scooters long forgotten, and remember that “one time” when the wind was in your hair and everything was right with the world on your scooter.
Don’t shortchange the little things in your life – these are the days that we will remember, the ones that while not absolutely crammed with excitement, are brimming with family life, with good health, good friends and good times, the tiny triumphs that make life worth living. It’s times like these that provide a steady back-beat to our existence – one all too often interrupted by the news: elections, murder, economic mayhem, scandals and the like. We don’t have control over those big stories, we can only watch as they unfold. Then we lucky scooterists can forget them all with a simple kick of a starter or press of a button. Don’t let the bad news of the real world ruin a perfectly good ride, ever.
So that’s 2012 in review and here’s to a very happy, prosperous and healthy New Year and one filled to the brim with forgiveness. Ride safe!
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