I’ve had this idea for years and kept waiting for an inspiration to write it down: it still hasn’t come, so I am forcing it this morning… why not?
Here it is, in short: you know how we have turn signals on cars, right? Well, I think it’d be awesome if we had a Namaste signal on cars as well. Maybe, we’d call it something else – maybe we’d call Peace signal or Grace signal… What we’d call it doesn’t matter. What matters is that suddenly peace-on-Earth would become a feasible reality.
Ok, perhaps, I am exaggerating a bit. Who knows…
Seriously though, this would be a veritable paradigm shift in our collective driving behavior: imagine that on your dashboard you have a simple push button (next to hazard lights button) and when you push this button you signal to your fell0w driver that you are either SORRY (that you inadvertently cut in front of them) or THANKFUL (for their letting you merge).
What a world of difference it’d be!
As a driver, I’ve been hungering for this way out of so many inadvertently sticky traffic situations. Having started out as an aggressive jitney on the streets of Moscow, I’ve long tamed the fast-and-furious in me. But I still, as I am sure you do, find myself in traffic situations where, after backing out of my driveway, I raise my hand to wave a THANKS to the driver that stopped behind me to let me out. Or, as many of you, I roll the window down and signal my GRATITUDE with a hand wave.
Having a standardized NAMASTE signal would not only simplify this basic act of DRIVING KINDNESS/DRIVING GRACE but would also serve to condition our baseline operating consciousness towards more peaceful COEXISTENCE.
We all share this road of life – and if given the option to be graceful and tactful, I feel many would gladly utilize it.
Of course, there are several technicalities here:
Where do you mount this thing?
Seems you’d want this NAMASTE signal to be mounted both on back and sides of the cars (just like our turn signals/indicators) so that your fell0w drivers would be able to see it from all relevant vantage points. This would have to be studied further.
What color should it be?
Something inherently peaceful would be nice. Blue? Might be too confusing given that some emergency vehicles use this color. Perhaps, green? I am not sure, I am not a designer of these kinds of things. This issue would have to be studied further.
What should it be called?
A Namaste signal? A Peace sign? A Grace indicator? I am sure someone could figure this out and come up with a secular enough concept we could all live with.
How should it look?
A peace sign? An open hand (for hand wave)? A blinking heart? We’ll figure it…
How and when would we use it?
You’d use this sign to ask if you could merge/ease-into traffic flow. You’d use this sign to signal an apology if you had inadvertently cut in front of someone. You’d respond with this sign as a generic apology when someone honks behind you when you are still on your phone when the streetlight turns green. You’d use this sign to issue a statement of appreciation whenever you find yourself on the receiving end of someone else’s driving kindness.
How do we get this initiative going?
I am not sure. If this idea makes sense to you, pass it on. Perhaps, Elon Musk will pick it up and slap it on his next Tesla. Perhaps, another progressive car manufacturer will take lead on this. Or, maybe, some after-market manufacture will see a business model in this.
These are all details and technicalities – they can be worked out. What is needed is the will of the driving people – what is needed is an initiative, a collective interest in having such an option. We spend a lot of time in our cars. We kill a lot of folks with our cars every year. Our roads are a theatre of road-rage war… We need the option of a WHITE FLAG to wave as we encounter each other in a fast-and-furious passing. This would help us SLOW DOWN a bit and notice each other in a kind of DRIVING NAMASTE – “The human driver in me recognizes the human driver in you.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if our technology helped us be more humane with each other for a change?!
Wouldn’t it be nice if driver education also served as a coexistence rehab?!
Sure, we can just keep waving hands at each other but, frankly, it’s probably best if we keep our hands on the steering wheel. Having a PEACE button to push would be kinda cooler, dontcha think?