With Aloha

By Chris Varosy
A delicious sandy beach in sunny Paia on the island of Maui, blue sky, gentle waves, palm trees, people enjoying themselves.

One valuable thing I learned in Maui has stuck with me.

Driving with “aloha” is simply driving with patience and love. And it’s something we need globally.

It sounds simple, but it was annoyingly hard for a mainland city slicker like me not to feel uptight in the slower pace of the island. Once I moved in to the idea of being on vacation and enjoying myself, the aloha spirit eventually won out, and it has stuck with me back home (at least in my better moments).

It’s pretty fascinating psychologically how people act so hotheaded while driving. Can you imagine if someone flipped you off or shouted obscenities at you if you accidentally stepped in front of them on foot in the grocery store? That’s crazy person territory. Maybe a security guard would even intervene. So why are we monsters behind the wheel? Maybe it’s because we are in our own bubbles, insulated from the consequences of being assholes. Some argue that driving is a right-brain activity that detaches you from your rational side.

Whatever the reason, I’ve noticed a huge uptick in road rage here in Denver. My guess is it’s fallout from the lockdown, and probably also growing pains creating more traffic here. But it’s seriously dangerous to lose your shit while throwing around multiple tons of metal.

So here’s what I ask: before you get in your car, consider that each person on the road is a human being, and that they are just trying to get somewhere. They deserve respect, as do you. See if you can enjoy your time in the car, however long it takes. Smile. Wave to people. Thank someone for letting you in. If someone annoys you, take a deep breath. Let their hostility be their problem, not yours. If you find yourself swearing like a sailor (me AF), observe that and let it go. Put on some music. Sing along! Leave early so you’re not in a rush. And if you get there a little late, that’s better than doing something stupid and not getting there at all. Ask yourself: “What would Hawaiians do?”

Let’s do a worldwide rollout of aloha to our roads, and frankly everywhere else too.

#aloha #patience #love #respect #primitivespark