Be the Change You Want to See in The World

On Friday, I sold my car and now we are a one car family. I’ve wanted to do this for many years, and the whole hub bub regarding the Paris Accord made me finally do it with conviction.

I also had an epiphany after toiling over the nasty political climate in the US. I kept reminding myself what I was taught in the Episcopal Church and something my father said. The Church taught me “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. My father was much more succinct, he said “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all”.

My epiphany was that no politician will ever save the world. In fact the truth is that people must contain politicians from ruining the world. Taking sides on social media is downright idiotic. So, as I mentioned in my previous blog, I will be very careful to try to channel all of my energy to positive thoughts, words and most importantly, deeds.

Imagine if every one on the planet consumed less, wasted less and walked just a bit more softly.

This no “Kumbaya moment” since I’m saving for retirement, I already know that these actions can help save big money. My grand parents lived this way when they immigrated and went through the Great Depression. Modern convenience (with massive waste) was an invention that happened once the US economy recovered. There is no amount of money or no political organization that can come close to the power of the people. And we don’t need to organize, this is something each of us can do.

I will blog about the ways that I plan to contribute to society and the earth and let you know what happens. Becoming a one car family is already an incredibly freeing thing. Not only do I not miss my car, my mind is now open to being more creative in how I get around.

I’ll only blog about things I actually do in this regard, but the thing I like about what Mahatma Gandhi said is that it takes the Christian “Do unto others”  idea or the Buddhist idea of “Do nothing extra” and steps it up a notch. It transforms this to a question of what can I DO.

Going from a two to a one car family is a pretty good start and now I’m thinking creatively on what I can do next.

2 Comments on “Be the Change You Want to See in The World

  1. You could always move to Europe when you retire. I think you can live a much lower-impact lifestyle without sacrificing mobility here than you could in, say, Oregon or even California. I remain impressed by the public transit here, which is generally clean(ish), fast, frequent and moderately priced, compared to what you find in America. You may have to walk the last mile, but so what, it’s usually scenic anyway. There is a much greater emphasis on accommodating the elderly and infirm. I see an awful lot of people in their 70s and 80s out and about in the world, which I frankly rarely do in the US. And since most areas were built up before cars were really a thing, usually it’s pretty pedestrian friendly, or at least not pedestrian hostile. Yes, in the more remote areas you probably do still need a car if you want to get around in a reasonable amount of time, but if you’re in England or the western continent, I think a car may actually be more trouble than it’s worth.

    Oh, and there seems to be a lot more locally sourced food here too, if that sort of thing matters to you.

    Like

    • I lived on Hollywood Road across from the Hollywood Pub in SW10 in London. It was on the border of Fullingham and Chelsea. I worked at 77 Oxford Street. I would visit my relatives in Devon – Newton Abbott and took the train all the way to St. Ives – my favorite place. I taught SQL*Base and SQL*Windows classes in Paris, Helsinki, Augsburg, Nante, Amsterdam, Zurich, Zug, Geneva and other places across Europe. I’ll never forget the hiking clubs of elderly people getting off at Zug and just hiking up into the hills with walking sticks. I never needed a car nor wanted one.

      Its very hard to do that here – although the Bay Area isn’t bad and neither is Portland. But the US does not have that “you can go anywhere without a car” thing. Of course, EU is way more “compact” too.

      Gee – maybe I’ll emmigrate and go back to the Fatherland or Motherland?.

      Like

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