During Lent we are often encouraged to do something that will deepen our spirituality or help us practice some virtue. In the Taegu Diocesan Bulletin, a priest writes about a very simple act of kindness that takes little energy and yet has a great deal to do in making us more conscious of others.
his driving license in 1996, there were fewer cars on the road and gas
was a lot cheaper. He remembers hearing from his
seniors and friends about the manners of the road--road etiquette. When,
for instance, the driver in front moves over to create more space for
the driver in back to pass, waving one's hand to acknowledge what the
driver has done is considered road etiquette. This has nothing to do
with law but merely a kindness, and he says it was like a promise that
all would keep. But today, he says sadly, it is rare. There are those
turn on and off their emergency light when appropriate, but those who
don't are by far
the greater number.
we say this is a sign of a lack
of concern for the other? Or, more likely, when driving, do we consider
the other to be a stranger that we need not acknowledge? Our road
kindnesses are disappearing, he says, as he
remembers with fond memories "the good old days." In Titus 2:7, it is
said "In all things, you yourself
must be an example of good behavior." Christians have been
called to spread the good news and to practice charity.
we are sharing the roads with those with whom we have no connection,
Christians should not forget who we are, and even on the roads show
concern and kindness
to others. A wave of the hand is a small act but with it, will we not be
showing our love and gratitude? he asks. Will it not make the roads of
that are so impersonal and lacking in concern, much friendlier and our
driving less of a chore?
we show others these little kindnesses, we are conveying an important
message to others, who may feel overwhelmed by our busy and often
world, that there is in fact some who will go out of their way to be
friendly and appreciate their being here in the same world we live in.
He would like Christians to be the leaders in this
effort to spread "good will" on the roads of our country.
word virtue is
slowing disappearing in our society. Often, in Korea we would hear the word 'way'
which would be the equivalent of what we would mean by the word virtue. However, today we hear more about values, less so than
in the States,
but rarely do we hear the word virtue used outside of religious circles.
Korea we talk about polishing or piling up the virtues, meaning that
they require repeated effort to make them a part of who we are. They
need to soak into our being is the way it is expressed. The effort of
practicing the virtues of kindness, concern and love even on the roads of
the country will make us more conscious of the need to do this in all