When I told my friends I was planning to get a Turquoise Plug-in Prius they asked, “What about the dogs?”
I purchased my Honda Element in 2007 for our first Vizsla, Stella. The inside was dog-friendly – rubberized floors and washable seats. I tricked out the back-cargo area like a boudoir so Stella could stretch out during road trips.
Instead, she stayed glued to my side. She sat in the passenger seat and put her head on my shoulder like we were dating.
First Stella, then Bartok and Saraswati traveled 235,000 miles in our Element. It was the Dog-Mobile. Red hair, mud, and sand decorated every flat surface. Saraswati once vomited an acre of food on the passenger seat, much like the Barf-o-Rama scene in Stand by Me. It smelled like throw-up in there for months. The smell was eventually drowned out by skunk-odor after an incident in the mountains of Ojai. The car was nasty, but it was for my dogs, so I loved it.
I got the Honda for my babies.
Yesterday, I got a Prius for my Mother. I wanted to be kind to my Mother. Mother Earth.
The dogs will be fine. But I still struggled with the choice.
I’m German. I don’t want to spend money, ever. I resist the idea of a car payment. I like having a dirty car I can use to haul hay and plants and bricks. The Honda is familiar, the Prius is smarter than I am. Yet I keep coming back to this question:
“What is the Kindest Choice?”
The answer I got was “Take care of your Mother. Stop using plastic straws. And let go of the gas guzzler.”
The kindest choice isn’t always the most comfortable choice. The kindest choice often challenges the status quo and draws us into uncertainty.
More and more though, I want kindness to be my choice-maker, my barometer. The best choice is the kindest choice. Kindness is an unsung hero with the power to gently override fear, doubt, scarcity, struggle, and anything else the separate self can offer. The kindest choice brings a settling, an alignment with what is right and noble in the world.
Is there someplace in your life where you are struggling with a choice? Take a moment and ask “What is the Kindest Choice?” I’d love to hear what happens when you ask this question.