Monday, August 5, 2013

Karma police

Now for something completely different...

Well, probably not. More like a short aside. A step away from commuting talk. I mean, the daily bus ride is only so exciting for so long, right?

I tend to read when I'm on the bus. It keeps me inside my own head and, as a consequence, I tend to not observe much of the world around me. Which, is, if not a metaphor, a clear description of my life and times in general. I tend to keep things on a narrow focus, sometimes at the cost of the bigger picture. Though that's likely a discussion for a later time or a different forum.

What I'm trying to come to is a discussion about is our general ego-centricity. Though, maybe the ego is only a bit player here. I mean, the job of the ego is, if I am not completely mistaken, which I could be, as it has been a long, long time since I've taken any psych courses, is to meet the needs of the id in a reasonable way. And the id is, of course, our base desires and wants. Our seeking of pleasure regardless of consequence.

So, let's substitute pleasure above with ease. We tend to seek the path of least resistance in everything we do. We go for the easy route, even when logic tells us that that route is a dead end. We can look at all of the data and still deny certain truths.

I don't want to get into a heated discussion about climate change. There is too much I don't pretend to understand about the way that global weather patterns shift over time and how human interventions, good or bad, may or may not be affecting the general timing and severity of those shifts. That's just way beyond me.

What's not beyond me is asking a simple WTF question: Does it really make sense on any level to move a vehicle capable of carrying 6 or more passengers with a single passenger it in? The only logic I can see behind that is that we are trying to satiate the id. Logically it just doesn't make sense in the grand scheme of things. I understand that there are certainly times where it is not possible to fill a vehicle and share the ride, but when you see the same cars each morning, the same cars, all heading the same direction at the same time each morning, it does raise questions. I'll take the great weather we've had this summer, weather that may or may not be a result of climate change. I'll take it and be happy. But, still. Maybe I've become too much of a cheap ass lately, but it just doesn't make sense to spend about 12 dollars a day (This is for those 3/4 ton truck drivers out there...) just in fuel, not to mention maintenance costs, the time and aggravation of sitting in traffic, parking fees, etc. etc. just to drive my own vehicle.

So, I guess this did turn to commuting, after all. Eh, what can I say? Certain questions vex me. Rather, certain human behaviors vex me.

Yet, I know that, if I were not so cheap and hadn't formed the habit of riding bike over driving, that I, too, would likely be driving all alone in my car to and from each day.

See, that's what I'm saying. While I can sit in the bus and be all smug and judgmental towards the folks driving by themselves in giant gas guzzlers, I know in my darkest heart that I could be them. I have been them. And I still hop in the car to run to the store to pick up a gallon of milk. Just like everyone else. I know that I am part of the problem, perceived or otherwise, yet there are times, be it through laziness or other, that I take the easy route and turn the key.

And is it realistic to think that everyone should do without cars? Of course not. It is realistic, though, to think that folks could be more purposeful in their use of vehicles. Myself included. Heck, me moreso than others I think. While I commute by bike and public transit, there are an awful lot of times when errand running could be performed in a more sustainable way either through combining trips or by biking instead.

Now I'm just rambling, so I'll end it.

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