“You never know who is driving with cake.” -Dr. Joseph Bouchelle.
The phrase above is from a story I heard in my College Composition class, about a woman who managed a small cake business in Los Angeles, California. It was small enough that she didn’t have big delivery trucks or several orders a day. She did her own deliveries of celebratory cakes in a mini-van. You can imagine driving a mini-van with large cakes in the back going down the busy streets of LA. She drove with caution; took turns slowly, accelerated slowly, and overall drove gradually to ensure the cake’s safety in not falling or breaking. People around her were often quick to judge the dawdling van, which came with road raged gestures. On a particular trip that her brother embarked on, he asked his sister if the drivers bothered her because of their impatient behaviors. She replied, “no, they don’t know I’m driving with cake.”
We never know who is driving with cake. We never know what battles or trials someone else is dealing with. It’s human nature to make snap judgments towards others because they may be different than the rest of us. Everyone carries weight on their shoulders and everyone is battling something that the rest of us don’t have an idea about. Being kind to those around you is an important skill to acquire. There is some science to this idea, starting with survival of the fittest and Darwin.
Survival of the fittest implies the idea of being selfish—an often basic instinct—to survive among everyone else. But Darwin was a studier of human evolution. He didn't see mankind as being biologically competitive and self-interested. Darwin believed that we are a profoundly social and caring species. He argued that sympathy and caring for others is instinctual, rather than only looking to help yourself. This idea still stands in modern science studies. It has now shown that devoting resources to others, rather than having more and more for yourself, brings about lasting well-being.
There are different ways to practice being kind. One way to be kind is to open your eyes and be active when you see people in need. Do you notice when people could use a helping hand? Opening your eyes means noticing when others are suffering. How self-absorbed and ignorant must we be to not recognize that everyone needs help and kindness within their lives? Taking the time to make sure those around us are O.K. and offering to be there to lend a helping hand or listening ear does not take much time. We do not need a reason to help people. It may not be the easiest or most convenient thing to do, but it has the potential to change everything for someone. Life is service, right? If we expect blessings from God or a God, might we be kind to His people? A sense of community is created when people are kind to those who need help. People will remember how you make them feel, and you will be remembered for the last thing you do, so be kind.
You do not who is driving with cake.
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