I make an effort in my blog posts to be positive and inspirational. However, today I am blogging about one of my pet peeves, bicyclists who don’t bother to say “on your left” when passing walkers or other cyclists. My goal is to walk at least three miles per day four to five times per week. In other words, I am serious about my walking, it’s one of my main forms of exercise. I can’t count how many times a biker will pass me on the bridge or on the shared path and come so close to me that I almost jump out of my skin. What I want to shout out at them is “Use your words.” How much effort does it take to say “on your left?” Three little words that are so appreciated by walkers and fellow bikers. I don’t shout out at the bikers because I don’t want to get into an episode of bike path rage and have someone swear at me or punch me out. I am an experienced long distance cyclist and have done many distance rides in previous years. When I rode in the RAGBRAI in the late 90’s I learned about proper bike etiquette. Phrases like “on your left,” “car up,” “car back,” and I have carried these practices forward into my recreational biking. So, that’s my rant on rude bike riders!
Now, moving on to a different perspective about how we use our words. How often do you say things without thinking and then wish you could grab those words back? When something bothers you, do you clear the air as soon as possible or do you store up resentments? Are you clear in your communication with others or are you vague and ambiguous? What would happen if you were intentional in your conversations, saying what you mean and meaning what you say? Words are powerful, they can hurt or heal. I try to think before I speak and I ask myself three questions. Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary? Wouldn’t the world be a better, more peaceful place if all of used our words with intention, kindness and compassion?
What about you? How do you use your words? Are you intentional in your communication with others? If not, what is one small action you can take today to move in that direction? How can you respond rather than react when someone provokes you? How can you be more intentional this week when using your words?