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.)