Thank you for all you do. Now, do this.
We all appreciate you for your contributions, your support and how you’ve helped shape the people we’ve become. But there’s one more thing we think you should do: Teach your kids to drive a manual transmission (moms, you can do this too).
Driving A Manual Transmission-> Conquering the World
When a girl learns to drive a stick shift she learns to understand the machine and she learns machine thinking. She learns to understand how things work and her curiosity blossoms. Driving a stick shift is fun, rewarding and confidence building. And, it’s challenging, but it’s an accomplishment and she won’t get her hands dirty.
All the Fun, None of the Grit
So many things about we try to teach our kids about our cars–how to change a tire, how to change the oil– are often just tossing them into something complicated without giving them a good introduction and a natural progression. Plus they get their hands dirty. Kids won’t mind getting their hands dirty as long as there’s a benefit they can see. But the benefit of changing your oil may not be immediately seen, unless you experience a seized engine and know how critical; it’s hard to tell because we don’t know the downside.
Plus these days the ease of having someone come change your tire, the ease of pulling into service by having the oil changed for the price that it costs to buy the supplies— the reward can be elusive.
The Grin of a New Stick Shift Driver: Priceless
But learning to drive a stick shift, well that’s all reward. It can be frustrating at first, but in the end, it’s fun. It’s an accomplishment that you can sit around the dinner table and grin about. It’s the wind under her wings, an experience she can have fun with any time she wants.
It’s a life lesson that she’ll take with her forever, so when she finds herself renting a car in a foreign country and needs to be able to drive a stick, she can do it. When she hops in a friend’s Jeep for a milk run, she can do it. When she’s invited to a track event and asked “Who can drive a stick shift?” she’ll raise her hand because she can do it. She might be one of the only people there who raises her hand, men included.
Make Stick Shift Driving a Daily Occurrence — It’s Easier Than You Thought!
Like most Americans, you probably don’t have a manual transmission car in your driveway, and that’s the issue, right? But maybe it’s an opportunity. Consider this: if you’re thinking about the fun third car for the family, something that anyone can hop into in a pinch, for an evening out, for a post-dinner ice cream run? Think about putting a used Mazda Miata or Honda Civic Coupe in your driveway as that third car. An inexpensive car that is nothing but fun can be handy. And, you might get the attention of your boys or perhaps, even finally learn to drive a stick yourself.
Make Driving Fun Again
We’ve all gotten away from this very mechanical and very fundamental way of driving. And it’s sad. Those of us to drive stick shift cars, and I am one of them, love, love, love our experience. We’re sad that auto manufacturers are still scaling back the stick shifts models offered. They’re typically at the very high-end or at the very low end but not in the middle where most of us drive.
But as driving becomes less and less about driving and more and more about getting there, we’ll be at the mercy of the machine if we don’t preserve the art of driving. And, we can be a victim of the machine if we don’t learn to think like us because more and more, the machines are learning to think like us.