Limitations are actually strengths
People think of giving up their cars, and they immediately think of the reasons they canít ó the limitations. But Iíve come to realize these are actually strengths. Consider.
1. Takes longer. Yes, it sometimes take longer to get places ó maybe 20 minutes instead of 10-15, or 45 minutes instead of 25-30. But thatís OK, because cars (while faster) are also more stressful. Driving in traffic is stressful. So we go places slower, which is less stressful, more fun. I like a slower life.
2. The weather. Sometimes the weather isnít great ó but truthfully, I enjoy getting soaked in the rain. My little ones donít mind either ó they love stomping in mud puddles. We are so used to being in our metal-and-glass boxes that we forget how wonderful the rain is. And when the weather is good, cars isolate you from that. You donít get to feel the sun on your shoulders, the wind in your face, the fresh smell of licorice when you pass a certain plant, see the squirrels dart past or the ducks mock you with their quack.
3. Convenience. Sure, buses can be inconvenient ó sometimes theyíre late and you wait and youíre late. But think about the inconveniences of cars we often forget: parking, getting stuck in traffic, getting cut off from other people, paying tolls, paying for parking, parking tickets, speeding tickets, cars breaking down in the highway, car repairs, oil changes, stopping for gas, car insurance, washing the car, the dangers of car accidents (car crashes are the leading killer of American children), the unhealthiness of it for your kids, making a wrong turn and trying to get back on your route, the expense of a car and having to work more just to pay for it, the cost of health care because cars are unhealthier for you and your family and having to work more just to pay for that, just to name a few.
When you look at it like that, considering all the inconveniences of the various forms of transportation, cars donít necessarily come out ahead in convenience.
4. Groceries. We walk to the grocery store ó itís one block away. We canít carry as much as we can with the car, so we make more frequent trips. Thatís not a weakness, itís a strength. That means we walk more. Actually, going to the store is uphill, so I sprint uphill. Itís a lot of fun and great exercise.
5. Doing stuff thatís not close. Itís easier to get in the car and go to places, while walking or riding transit takes time and sometimes planning. So yes, youíre a bit more limited. I donít see that as bad, once you accept this ó it means you do less, which is simpler and less stressful. It means you only go places that are far if theyíre important. It means you explore ways to have fun near your home. Cars encourage us to take more trips, which pollute more, cause us to be busier, use up more time and money and natural resources. Slowing down and taking fewer trips is better for us, our health, our environment.
ĎLife is too short for traffic.í ~Dan Bellack