Monday, June 21, 2010

Questioning Transportation

I was reading the blog Far Beyond the Stars this morning when I read something that struck a chord: Get Rid of Your Car.


I live in one of the biggest, if not THE biggest city in America without mass transit. I also happen to do travelling massage therapy. Can you imagine what it would be like to pedal around on a bike with a massage table strapped to your back? Even if there were buses, I am sure the riders wouldn't appreciate me lugging a massage chair on and off the bus, potentially hitting kneecaps with it.

Now what? Change professions, right? I should find a job I can do out of my home so I don't need a car! The problem with that idea is that I travel to people's home (75+ in age) when it is sometimes difficult for them to even walk! I go to places of business so that people can experience some tension relief at the place that is probably causing much of it: work! If I drive to an office and 10 people get a massage from me, that could potentially mean that 10 people aren't driving around town to go to someone else for a massage, thus saving resources.

It feels as if the blog is asserting that in order to be a "minimalist", you need to live in a high-density urban city. New York City, NO THANKS! I am not the type who thrives off of noise, lots of people and a concrete jungle.

I have been to some very beautiful and remote places that could only happen by driving there. I am not willing to forgo exploring for the sake of saving some money by getting rid of my car since it is an expense. The statement that the world will be car-free someday is incredibly unrealistic. I would definitely like to read about what kind of a world the author is envisioning. In my world, people aren't going to walk themselves to the hospital when they have had a heart attack. Essential items like toothbrushes, cups and clothing all need to be transported somehow.

One theme I keep coming across in this new "minimalism" is that it doesn't celebrate the many differences of people who can live minimally, just in different ways. I feel incredibly fortunate to be debt-free, however, I would rather have debt from owning a car since debts would be far greater without a car! Cars aren't inherently bad either, as a society though, we haven't pushed enough for better and cleaner technology which seems to me to be the bigger problem.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you 1000%!!!! I will never be car-free, but I have begun to consider the expense and the impact of a car on the environment. As a result, I will use my car less, when it is possible AND convenient. However, I don't like when some minimalist try to assert that there is only one way to be a minimalist. I'm an individual, and I individually define everything about my life and how I choose to live it.

    Great post!