Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Taking the easy way

I've recently made a goal to bike more and drive less, when the weather permits.  The decision is more of a health one (I don't like to "exercise" specifically, but I do love sports and biking) than environmental.  This is an easy way to get fresh air, exercise, and model for the kids the same.

So yesterday morning I needed to pick up book from a friend, so I put Juliette in the bike carrier and made my way across town, picked up the book, and then came home.  As I pulled into the driveway and manoeuvred between the two cars sitting there, I chuckled a little.  I wonder what the "pioneers" (or generations of previous centuries) would think of me riding my bike with two vehicles just sitting there?  Would they celebrate my desire to stay healthy, or would they wonder why on earth I wouldn't take advantage of such a marvellous invention?

Would they marvel at the washing machine and dishwasher and vacuum and fridge and ready made food and dream of all the extra things they could get done with these time-saving devices.  Here we are, desperate to hold onto something "gone by" and so we try to limit these new things, taking the time to bike or can our own food or set two children on washing dishes by hand.  What is it that we are after?  I know the "grass is always greener on the other side" but I wonder, really wonder, if our ancestors would praise these efforts or be completely bewildered by them.  I wonder if they would have other answers to the family togetherness or less hurried pace or whatever it is we are looking for.  I wonder if they could embrace these technological advances and use that spare time for something even more productive than we have managed today?

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