There is no sugar coating things. We are living in a turbulent time here in these 50 states of ours. People are more divisive than ever and there seems to be very little common ground left. We, as a people, have lost some of that innocence that allowed us to go about our day thinking of a brighter future and the fun that lay ahead.
Now, Im not here to be a wet blanket and bring politics on here, but rather speak about a place that still has some of what we have lost over the years. It is a place where people are judged on what they do with their own hands rather than what language their parents spoke originally, what deity they pray to, or what the melanin content of their skin is. This isn’t some magical utopia but rather a community. One that is brought together by a shared interest. It has been a community that has been under fire for decades because its members are seen as hooligans, thugs, criminals, or outsiders. Special units of police have been formed in some parts of the country to deal with them. Laws have been passed to outlaw things they hold dear in a way to curb their actions.
I’m sure some of you who might be reading this out of context might be thinking I am speaking of a gang, cult, or some other nefarious organization but I’m not. I am speaking of the automotive community. I’m not going to fool you into thinking this is a bunch of saints on wheels. These are the same human beings that you see every day going about their lives. What makes this different though is that, when it comes to cars, everything else gets pushed aside. It’s all about the machine.
Go on any automotive blog, review site, or forum and you will find that the majority of people are so fixated on their passion of cars that they forget all of the small things that separate us. You will find people that are more concerned about your choice between a Subaru or Mitsubishi or, god forbid, you swapped out an almost god-like engine for something else. Walk around a car meet and you will see people not grouped by religion or ethnicity but by whether they are import, domestic, truck or bike. Any drama that occurs is purely on a personal level.
The important part about this is that it is a community. People get to know each other through a shared love. They forget about all of the stuff that divides us and focus on what brings us together. It’s a community where people from all walks of life get together for cook outs just as an excuse to get together. People hold car washes to raise money because the family of one of the group has fallen on hard times.
Why have I spent all of this time talking to you? Its because this is something that is worth keeping around. This and other community building activities are things that can glue our country back together. We need more of this and not less. Chances are, if you are reading this, then you know exactly what I am talking about. If you aren’t into cars and just decided to read this then I hope this has changed your opinion somewhat. If you are driving around and see a bunch of cars grouped together with young people standing around talking to each other, don’t be afraid. Don’t get mad thinking that this is some group of no-goods who could be doing something better with their lives. Be happy that you see people coming together in a community to get to know each other. Be supportive when they try to find legal ways to continue their adventures. Hell, give them a thumbs up as they drive by. Chances are they will smile and return the gesture.