Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Car-Free Today? Tomorrow?

Via blogger buddy Pyglalia, I'm reminded that today is "World Car-Free Day." I understand and accept that in today's world, for the majority of people, a car is a necessity- at least occasionally. I don't think it's reasonable to suppose that parents in the US, for example, aren't going to need to have personal transportation available at a moment's notice. My own circumstances, while maybe not unique, are certainly unusual, so it would be terribly unfair to judge others' choices based on my own decision to give up on cars more than 20 years ago. I have driven- a lot, by my own standards- since then, but mostly in university carpool vehicles for educational and research purposes. Almost the entirety of my own personal needs have been taken care of on foot.

Commemorative "days" such as this are a little irritating and exasperating to me. I feel they provide a psychological reward for doing something on one day, for which there should be constant and consistent pressure to try to do every day. Some days you can't go without a car, some days you can. Rather than feeling smug for that one day out of 365 on which you figure out a way to go without one, seek ways to make that the norm for as many of them as you can. And don't sweat the days when you need to drive. Don't make it an issue of pride and guilt. Just don't take daily driving for granted. Mark my words: change is coming. Either renewable energy or the demise of personal transportation is coming at us, faster than most can imagine- and the loss of the latter would be tragic.

1 comment:

pygalgia said...

Completely agree with you. It's not about one day, but rather a mindset that says "I don't need to drive to do this" and acting accordingly.