We may look at the door to a car or truck and think nothing of it, but imagine being in your mid-40's and never having opened a car door..... that is the reality of most of our staff at PeaceCYCLE. Entering a private car is rare. Knowing how to pull up the handle to open the door is complicated and even somewhat stressful. Never before have they worn a seat-belt, and the experience of air-conditioning is like a world of its own! At PeaceCYCLE, on several occasions, we have borrowed a car and taken the staff on excursions, and the ride in the car is half of the adventure!
The common transportation method is walking or tap tap (seen here). People sit in the back of an old, rusty (but sometimes painted elaborately), small pick up on precarious benches facing one another. They often squeeze in many more people standing in the center or hanging off of the back. There is no door to enter nor exit, as you simply step onto the back to get in and out. The tap taps run up and down various roads, and thus a person may require many series of rides to arrive at their destination, getting off and then on another hot and sweaty crammed tap tap, paying out yet another portion of their minimal resources.
Today's Challenge: As we spend the month of December opening doors, we challenge you today to pause as you open your car door today. As you get in, and as you get out, take a moment to think about how automatic it is – how you have done this for a lifetime, and how it requires no thought. Think about the door and the safety it provides for protection but also the lock that can keep things secure within the car. If you have automatic doors that open by the push of a button, revel in that amazing technology for a moment. Watch that sliding door glide open without any physical effort and be impressed.
Consider your transportation in general. Do you drive? Ride a bus? Ride bike? Walk? Consider the ease of these modes of transit and the regularity, timeliness, and cleanliness of them. Think about how safe you are when you are in a car, wearing a seat-belt, driving on roads where laws are enforced. Consider how bike lanes, stop lights, and traffic obedience creates a flow and general safety. Think about the road crews that fill in pot-holes before they become large enough to engulf your car, consider the crossing guards that help children after school, ponder for a moment the street sweeper machines and those who operate them and how that keeps the road open for travel.
So often we take things for granted. Today' we encourage you to be thankful for transportation!