Paul's Internet Landfill/ demons/ Cars Vs. My Feet (Part 1)

Cars Vs. My Feet (Part 1)

It happened again.

I was walking to work this morning, and once again a complete stranger in a car motions me over to talk with him. Bewildered, I wander over to the very nice person in the stinky car.

"I see you walking to work every day," he says. "I go that way, too. Would you like a ride?" Aw. Isn't that sweet?

No. It isn't sweet. It isn't considerate. It is a sign of the misplaced priorities that have infected my community. Walking does not put me at a disadvantage. I do not secretly wish that I could drive to school or work every day. I would not rather be cooped up in some wasteful automobile than outside enjoying the sunshine. I am extremely privileged because I can walk to work every day. Why would you take that away from me, Mr. Driver?

Undoubtedly, some of you are shaking your heads and calling me naive. Well, phooey to you. Maybe I am naive, but I enjoy my freedom. I don't have to earn $3000 per year just to keep my car in operation. I don't have to stress myself through traffic jams to get to work. I don't have to purchase expensive memberships at health clubs to keep myself in shape, because I have integrated exercise into my lifestyle. Why would you take that away from me, Mr. Driver? I am free. Are you?

Unlike you, I am not wasting gas or metal to get to work. I need to eat more, and I need to sleep more, and I often get to work late because I cannot walk fast enough. This is all true. It is also true that I cannot go to the movies or to expensive restaurants or to nightclubs on a whim. But why would I want to? It says here that the simple life is a fulfilling life, and I would much rather be fulfilled spiritually than be filled with beer. Got that?

For some strange reason, people have been misled that one needs a car to survive in my community. Hogwash. I don't drive. I do not depend upon other people to drive me places. I survive just fine, thank you very much. One does not need a car to lead a fulfilling life, even in this messed up society. In fact, life is so much easier when one does not drive. But people don't seem to understand that, and I cannot figure out why.

No. You can't walk everywhere. I understand that. Sometimes people have to resort to public transit or biking to get one's corpse around town. To me, that is an acceptable compromise. I have relied on public transit before. I didn't like it, particularly (although transit is a good way to catch up on one's reading), but it got me where I needed to go in a more responsible way than driving. Those of you unfamiliar with the area will probably not realise the significance of this, but I have commuted from one end of the Toronto area -- Mississauga -- to the other, in Scarborough. If I can do that, I see no reason why most people can't get by without an automobile. Everybody has his excuse for driving, of course. But I would argue that, for most people, driving is an unnecessary luxury. Again, people cannot seem to understand that. They have been brainwashed to believe otherwise.

Mind you, I might be joining your ranks soon. I may get myself a bike, because it will no longer be feasible to walk. Then I will have to stress myself with your messed up road rules, but I will still be better off than you. Why? Because I will still be freer than you. I will still be able to enjoy the sunshine and whatever beauty is left around me in this world. I will be able to keep my eyes and ears open, amusing myself by observing the madness all around me. Yes, biking will be stressful, but if it keeps me out of a car, then it is worth the price.

No, Mr. Driver, I don't want a ride. Perhaps you can be excused for offering me one, because you are a complete stranger, because you don't understand that I don't worship your madness. I don't think there is any excuse for all those people who know who I am and what I believe in, yet still foolishly offer to drive me places. You weren't the first person to offer me a ride, and I am willing to bet that you won't be the last. Call it impolite, call it foolish, call it immature, but I'm going to keep rejecting your misguided attempts at kindness as long as I possibly can.