A heart that loves is always young.

~ Greek Proverb ~

Darn Cars

September 16th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 16 secs

Cars get you wishing.

Cars get you wishing.

Cars are inherently vexatious beasts. They can embrace you in luxury, carry you away, and also provide a viable means of getting us round.

That said, cars have their dark side. Even the cutest of them can, if all too easily, scare, maim, or kill you (which strangely gets left out of the glossy brochures – but I can’t think why).

Yet they are here and we can choose to love them, hate them, or just go along with the traffic. However you feel about cars, they are fundamental to modern day life. Which means, cars aren’t going anywhere.

They have become infinitely more than well-appointed forms of travel. If ad agencies are to be believed, your car is a mechanical statement of exactly who you are. It defines your status, values, and even your preference for particular colors, and it’s all on display as a moving roadshow declaring everything.

If that be the case, then we want to look and be like most everyone else. Differences (not exactly massive) are outweighed by so many similarities (I mean, how often do you see 3 wheeled, neon green and pink vehicles with 3 headlights?).

So the individuality and style we buy isn’t too distinctive, lest others ostracize us. Obvious as cars are, there’s more than meets the eye to all that metal and plastic.

Despite their combined polluting power (which is doing damage on a gob smacking scale) we still want to keep our shiny beasts. Having no compelling alternatives, nothing else has been developed to win back the motorist’s heart.

Add to that the high cost of car ownership and you can see we really have given a lot to our vehicles in exchange for what they are giving us. Unsurprisingly, life minus vehicles is almost unthinkable.

But there are places where cars don’t exist. The tiny island of Sark in the English Channel is one such place. Though they do use tractors, people mostly get about by horse and cart. Like the Amish in some of America’s Eastern States, they all get by quite well.

Yet they are the exceptions. For cars have left their mark on every nation on Earth and for them, we will willingly keep paving over the planet and tear down houses – anything to extend the benefits they give.

Personally, I like to imagine life without cars. What might it be like? Immediately, I visualize a combination of traditional European cities and high tech Asian style transport. Perhaps that wouldn’t be so bad after all.

Still, they’re here now and their use has been ingrained over generations. That’s why many want to keep both their car and what it gives. For, surely, the automobile has become a symbol of freedom.

Pity then that the vehicular freedom has so many strings attached tethered to some rather nasty things (e.g. global overheating, smog, noise, accidents, habitat damage, and urban sprawl). And, while some people take the moral high ground, it seems to me that we who drive or get rides are all in this together.  Whatever else we use, our numerous goings and comings have defined us. We are the people with cars and it’s up to us to tame them.


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