How’s your commute? Do live near work and enjoy a quiet walk to the office? Or do deal with crowds on public transportation or jammed roads with rushed drivers? When you get to work, do you feel relaxed from the experience or glad to have survived it?
For those with tough commutes, we pose a challenge: to commute with kindness. The premise is simple. Instead of bristling when someone knocks into you on the bus or cuts you off in traffic, wish them well. Smile and send every frenzied commuter on their way with a message of kindness, such as “I hope you reach your destination safely and on time” or “May your day go smoothly and be productive.”
While the premise is simple enough, execution can be tough—at least at first. With a familiar devilish voice on one shoulder (who prompts a host of familiar trigger reactions) and a quieter angel on the other, it’s common to unleash sarcasm and well wishes that aren’t heartfelt. Keep practicing, and observe how many commutes it takes before wishing your fellow commuters good things feels sincere. And, along the way, observe if you experience any changes in your mood during the commute. We predict that you might.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American commutes a little over 25 minutes to work (LINK: http://project.wnyc.org/commute-times-us/embed.html#4.00/39.89/-100.47). That’s a lot of time over the course of a week, a month or a year. Just imagine: That time could be spent in a different mindset that will affect the work day and beyond.