It was a beautiful summer day here in Boulder, Colorado on Wednesday. It was also Bike To Work Day and I had a thought that I like doing this so why not do it more often? The answer that comes up immediately is that having my car is more convenient. It makes my commute to work and back about 30 minutes more if I ride my bike. It seems my dependence on oil is for my convenience. Does that sound familiar? Am I willing to commit to less oil dependence, less polluting by driving less? The rationalizing mind is a helpful companion for continuing to do what is convenient. As I said in my post yesterday, real change takes courage.
Today I actually need my car because I am driving between two offices in different cities but Friday I could ride easily? I keep thinking of the oil spill and how our thirst for oil in this country causes us to compromise our values so we can have all the fuel we want. In many places people are taken advantage of so we can have low cost gas. When we drive we pollute our precious air and lately very clearly we pollute our precious water. I think of all the creatures in the Gulf who have had their home filled with contaminants. It would be like turning our car on inside our house and we have to live with that smell and the harmful air. Not a pleasant image is it?
That is the kind of dilemma we all face in many aspects of our life. Are we willing to live by our highest values if it makes us too odd in the opinion of the people in our life? Are we willing to pay more for products that are less toxic to our environment? Are we willing to pay more for products that do not take advantage of workers? Are we willing to live more simply and have less things? Are we willing to say no to the endless ads and sales trying to get us to buy more and better stuff? Are we willing to take shorter showers? Are we willing to reduce our waste? Are we willing to live a less car dependant life? Are we willing to buy local and go with less variety in the marketplace? There are many questions to ask ourselves if we truly want to be a better global citizen.
Please consider with me our choices and their impact on the environment. Also be aware that it always takes a while for an idea we choose to implement to be integrated into our life. The other thing to keep in mind is that these choices are not worth getting upset over, we can do our best and remember to have fun because life is too short to waste it being too serious.