Colleen & Alex’s Comments
Email submitted to Paul Hergott September 2016:
I would like to inform you about the tremendous positive impact you have had on my driving behaviour and that of my husband. In addition, your influence has resulted in me becoming a better pedestrian.
We always carefully read your column in the Capital News and regularly discuss the content. While driving I often reflect upon your writing and ensure that I am implementing the skills. Among other behaviours I now come to a full stop prior to crossing a sidewalk, I drive with both hands on the wheel at all times, I turn my lights on during a rainstorm and I have your reassuring “voice” in my head while I am patiently waiting to safely execute a left-hand turn despite the bully behind me seated in a jacked up pickup truck with Alberta plates.
When walking our dogs in the dark we are armed with flashlights, our dogs have lights on their collars and we wear reflective strips on our ankles and wrists. I do not assume that a car is going to stop for me when entering a crosswalk and I ensure that I make eye contact before stepping out to cross a street.
I have had the opportunity to let you know in person about your positive impact on me but I wanted to write as well. When I spoke with you in the past you asked me to send along any ideas that I might have for an article. I appreciate that it can be difficult generating so many ideas.
My husband gets the credit for this suggestion although I use this everyday in my work as a therapist. He mentioned the importance of using mindfulness while driving. He believes it is more effective to be fully aware and present in the moment without judgement as opposed to thinking about where you need to be and how late you are. Mindfulness is widely used for emotion regulation and there is no better place to use it than in traffic.
Thank you for everything you do.
Colleen Owens and Alex Biko