Last fall, one of my dearest friends lost his brother because of a careless driver.

His brother was riding his road bike, and a driver wanted to pass him. On a double yellow line, the driver started going around, going approx 60 mph, when all of a sudden, a car came straight at them. Keep in mind, they were illegally in the other lane, so of course there was potential for a car to be coming head on.

Hit the car or hit the person was the decision the driver was faced with (per their words). They chose to hit the person. Ultimately causing their death.

Years ago, with one of my children, we were discussing self-driving cars. In my ignorance (ignorance is when we speak/make decisions about something without having knowledge about that subject), I declared that self-driving cars were going to be a huge safety risk.

Flash forward at least a decade.

If you research self-driving cars, you’ll find one of the biggest benefits to them is their safety.

How can that be if no human is driving them?

The most significant safety benefit of self-driving cars is the potential to eliminate or significantly reduce accidents caused by human error. We make mistakes due to distraction, fatigue, impairment, and inexperience.

Autonomous vehicles are designed to operate with precision, attentiveness, and consistency, leading to fewer accidents caused by human errors.

They also react to situations much faster than human drivers. They are equipped with advanced sensors and AI algorithms to detect obstacles, pedestrians, and other vehicles in milliseconds and take appropriate actions. Also, autonomous vehicles are programmed to follow traffic laws rigorously, unlike our Chimp brains. They don’t speed, run red lights, or engage in risky behaviors.

Our thoughts have the same potential to drive our lives like autonomous cars. Safely, into lives of love and peace.

Yet, they also can drive us with negativity and disdain.

Gautama Buddha said, “Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”

King Solomon writes in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

The heart, in biblical terms, often represents the innermost part of ourselves. Including thoughts, emotions, desires, and our moral compass. “Guarding our heart” is a reminder to protect our inner self from negative influences and thoughts that separate us from God/Love (these are called sins). The verse encourages us to be discerning about what they allow into their hearts and minds.

By guarding our hearts, we can be mindful of our thoughts and intentions. Do they align with the principles and values of our lives?

Our thoughts are incredibly powerful, and we have incredible power over them. They drive us. Literally. And we go in the direction of our most powerful thoughts.

I doubt any of us want an AI to guard our thoughts. That’s the scary part about AI, actually. That it can so closely replicate the way we think. But how much better could our lives be if we functioned like the safest autonomous car, driving our lives as a result of positive, love-bearing thoughts?

What if we are more mindful of them today?

Grace and Peace,