The power of kindness..
Our day at the race track continued..
After a couple of hours watching cars race at the track we decided to head to the drag strip to watch some drag racing. Jaiden had never seen a full-blown drag car before, so the disappointment of earlier events disappeared when we entered the gates to see a Supercharged Outlaw Dragster being towed past.
Over the years I’ve encouraged Jaiden to step outside of his comfort zone to help him have the best chance of integrating into society, but also to help him see the joy that can exist when we step out of our norm and try something new. Whenever we go to events like this, we always take time to reflect on the previous times where Jaiden has been felt uneasy about a situation but has gone on to conquer it, and the associated positive feelings he experiences. It helps remind him that saying yes to new things can be scary, but also exciting and exhilarating at the same time. So as we approach the dragster we stop and talk about different aspects of it and a woman who was part of the team said “Oh bring him over the pits later, he can have a sit in it! There’s also a junior dragster there!”, that was clearly not an opportunity we were going to pass up after the disappointment earlier in the day!
A couple of hours later Jaiden found himself climbing inside not just their Nitro burning Drag car, but also their Junior dragster designed for kids under 17, Jaiden could not take the smile off his face. Afterward we stood around chatting for a while before letting them get back to preparations for their next test pass. As it happened, we were walking past as they were towing the drag car to the start and Jaiden got an invitation to join them in towing the car to the start line. Unfortunately, the car had issues and didn’t get to make a pass, but for Jaiden being there on the start line, with the race team, was an experience he’ll never forget.
We often never know the impact we have on a person’s day, or life. This is a sentence that rings very true for me. Over the years I have been blessed to impact many lives positively, be it through my writing, or just sharing our journey with someone I meet. Similarly, I have had small and seemingly insignificant interactions with people that impacted me deeply and stayed with me forevermore. We move through life rarely giving thought to what effect our interactions have on people, and what started off as a simple kind gesture allowing Jaiden to sit in their cars opened him up to a whole new world, and a community of friendly people all united, working together based on their love of cars, and going fast.
We left the drag event that night and Jaiden was absolutely beaming, already weighing up the options of whether he would build a drift car, or a drag car, and ways he could fund it. It’s given him a renewed drive to work on some projects that he can monetize so he can work towards one day sitting on the start line himself. It may be a short lived phase, or maybe he builds a business to support his love of cars for the rest of his life. Either way, he’s been opened up to new possibilities purely through the generosity of total strangers, whilst making unforgettable memories along the way.
There’s probably not been a time in recent history where as a species; humanity needs each other more. That small conversation, the compliment, or kind gesture might just be the thing that helps a stranger through tough times, or inspire them in a new direction. We all have the power to individually change the direction of a life with nothing bar our words, and actions. I think that’s a pretty special thing, worthy of contemplation.
A huge thanks to Controlled Insanity Racing for taking the time to make Jaidens first drag experience an unforgettable one, we look forward to catching up with you all again soon.