Jul 15, 2011

Brooks, Crooks, and Sustainability

by Maureen McGregor
I recently came downstairs from my friend’s Belltown apartment to find that my bike seat and post had been removed from the rest of my bike and stolen. Getting my another bike stolen not even a year ago, I’m thankful that I had the majority of a bike to come back to. Still, I feel like my bike is my car. Stealing someone’s bike seat is like stealing an engine from a car. I couldn’t help wondering, who does that?

Along the way home, I saw a friend that I had worked on Parking Day with last year. He seemed just as dumbfounded by the fact that we live in a community where people do this to each other. To my surprise, others I talked to about this incident have not been as taken aback. The response of a student at Antioch University was, “That’s Seattle for ya.” This is the same person that also makes sure to lock both his front and back tires, and takes his seat with him whenever he parks his bike downtown. “Yeah, they’ll do that,” another friend said.

I tried to think about who exactly they were, and I imagined my bike seat being hung in a house full of bike seats like trophies on the wall. I imagined the giddy feeling the culprit must have felt as they left my bike without an engine. One Sustainable Seattle colleague led me to this article about local bike seat theft, while another told of the negative psychological impacts their partner suffered after having a bike seat stolen themselves. I guess I'm not alone in my misery.

I know that this kind of stuff happens all the time, but instead of normalizing these kinds of expereinces as part of our society, they fuel my passion to restore them. It is normal to react in fear and have a lack of trust with neighbors because of incidents like this, but instead of perpetuating that vicious cycle, I'm on a pursuit for happiness -- I know this isn't how it has to be. That's why I love Sustainable Seattle's, Happiness Initiative and contests like Dream a Sound Future where an opportunity is given to all of us to engage in creating healthier relationships, sustainable commuities, happier cities, and a more just world.

In the midst of all of our woes, there is beauty in the stregth we hold in bond with one another. If you aren't familiar with the programs going on at Sustainable Seattle, I would highly encourage you to do so. There's really something for everyone, and only together will we create sustainable change. The adverse affects of an ill society will not be solved overnight, but I'm using my courage to pursue the dreams of happiness for all in the meantime. You might call me a dreamer, but I'm not the only one...

No comments:

Post a Comment