During my bicycle ride to work, I pass by a large cemetery with vast green expanses of lawn spread out among scattered memorial benches. (They have a rule against vertical tombstones.)
And they use their own well water to keep the grass a healthy and tranquil green.
But isn’t that water drawn from the same aquifer that surrounding neighborhoods use?
Apparently, when you use your own well water, you can water at the peak of sunshine exposure, when evaporation is at its highest. And you can water however many days a week you like.
Even worse, one neighborhood I ride through irrigates grass along the edges of their roads seven days a week.
The rest of us in suburbia are limited by Denver water authorities to three days a week and no watering between 10 am and 6 pm.
I’m not jealous of this extravagant use of water. But I find it interesting that these rules apply to only one set of users.
Life is always like that — one set of rules for one group and another set for another group — unlimited access to resources for one group and very limited access for another group.
You and I need to just accept this and ride on.
It all started with spilled coffee at a McDonald’s drive-through.*
Well, not really. Our American tendency to sue for everything probably started long before that.
How many people would buy a CD and give the thin plastic wrapper to their baby and say, “Play with this wrapper — it will do you no harm”?
Anyone who reads magazines today is used to flipping past pharmaceutical ads that use two full pages of fine print after the actual ad that could be summed up in one simple sentence: “Use of this drug is possibly dangerous, and you should consult with your doctor before using.” The television equivalent is 10 seconds at the end of an ad that are some of that fine print, read at 300 words a minute.
Please, please, America…
Just don’t be stupid.
* That incident happened in 1994. And she won the case.
I love freedom. But when freedom costs me something that could be easily avoided, I pause.
For people living in the US, depending on your state, you can ride a motorcycle with out a helmet. It’s super enjoyable to zoom along with the wind in your hair.
But then that driver doesn’t see you, he turns into your lane — and your dreams of motorcycling disappear into years of surgeries, physical therapy and pain.
This is not theoretical — a good friend of mine experienced that. And he was wearing a helmet.
So here’s the selfish part of the equation… when the helmet-less rider ends up in the hospital with years of medical appointments ahead, it costs me. My insurance premiums rise.
The same holds true for bicycle riding.
I have to admit that I am not super rigid on that — sometimes when I go for a quick ride to the corner store on my (slow) mountain bike, I don’t put on a helmet. And yes, I know that most accidents happen closest to home.
So I leave it up to you where you draw the line between your freedom and your responsibility to society.
The photo is Creative Commons licensed by Sara y Tzunki (Cecilia e Francesco) and was taken in Phnom Penh.
I love Schneider pens — the very best in the world. They’re made in Germany.
Stride is the company that distributes Schneider pens in the USA. Stride employs people with intellectual and physical challenges – allowing these individuals to learn and grow in a working environment that is full of love and acceptance.
You can read the stories of Peter, Victor and Vaden to see what a difference Stride has made in each of their lives.
Stride distributes pens and doesn’t sell them directly to consumers. But you can buy them at Office Depot. When you buy some of these amazing pens, you will help the team at Stride.
If you prefer porous-tip pens (what used to be called “felt-tip”) or gel pens, Schneider has those also. And they’re excellent.
Ask the Office Depot sales staff to help you find them – the Schneider pens may be tucked away in a back corner.
And then go back home to write a real letter, by hand, to someone who could use a little extra love and acceptance.
Life’s challenges can push some to despair and others to greatness.
I was recently inspired by the story of Barbara Brennan. The challenge of a son born with hydrocephalus pushed her to greatness. She began her company, Stride, Inc., as an avenue to employ people with developmental challenges.
One example of how Stride has made a difference is Victor. When he began working for Stride, he didn’t speak much, due to a communication disorder. He proved himself by succeeding at several different jobs and now manages their shipping and receiving department. Victor has been with Stride for thirty years!
My connection with this amazing company came through enjoying the excellent products they distribute in the USA, Schneider pens. Kerry Bertam, Stride’s CEO, found my review of their Slider XB pens. He very kindly sent me several Schneider pens – and they all are beyond perfect. As I highlighted in the review, these are the smoothest ballpoint pens on the planet and yet amazingly produce no blobs of ink. Knowing that Schneider pens are distributed by such a great company makes writing with these pens even more pleasurable!
I’d urge you to try Schneider pens through Office Depot. If your local store doesn’t have any, you can go to Office Depot’s website to order them. (Many are available for in-store pickup through their site.)
There are too many trash companies in Denver. In the old days, the city would have picked up our trash. These days, there are about ten companies to choose from. The upside is that it keeps the cost down for those who have to pay for the service, such as myself. But there are many downsides:
- There is way more needed infrastructure. Every company needs its own fleet of trucks. Every company needs their own offices.
- There is way more pollution. Each of the ten trash companies that makes a pass through my neighborhood has ten trucks that drive by each week. There used to be one.
- There are five days of noise, rather than one.
- There are cans at the curb five days a week, rather than one.
- “Having so many trash companies provides more jobs.” That is true in the same way that having ten people on a road crew so that six can stand by and watch four work provides more jobs.
We changed trash services recently over two issues, even though we had used the same company for at least five years:
1. We care for humans. Our old company did not have trucks that could empty the cans; the guys had to lift them up to empty them. I always felt bad for their backs. So now, at least there is one less set of cans for them to empty.
2. Price. Yes, we are paying less now — due to competition.
Finally, please understand that I am not saying competition is bad in every case. It’s just bad in this case and situations similar to this.