Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Abandoning my automobile

I never did feel much of a need for having a car. It wasn't until I was age 25 that I actually obtained a driver's license which I'll close with an anecdote about. I grew up near the Indiana State Fairgrounds and regularly availed myself of the public transportation system, taxis, family and friends, delivery services, and, most often, my bicycles or own two feet to satisfy my transportation wants and needs.

Although physically disabled for most of my adult life after a collision with a vehicle my body has been regenerated to where I am capable of returning to significant use of cycling or walking for my transportation needs without unrelated pain. While the act of abandoning the vehicle occurs in a moment the process has been ongoing.

In my ongoing quest to achieve higher levels of consciousness, unity and Truth I have been engaging in various experiments on myself and practicing abnegation of materialism. This may involve denial of basic needs such as oxygen deprivation or fasting but also practices akin to the Taoist. I have taught about Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in coaching people how to maximize their life fulfillment. By focusing first on needs one can easily discern the difference between a want and a need.

An automobile is clearly a WANT. When I use the term "automobile" for this posting it is in the form most common to readers; a passenger car powered by an internal combustion engine.

In following a rule of unity that one should do no harm the first consideration should be does the automobile do harm and if so to whom or what. In my examination I have concluded that the automobile does do harm in numerous direct and consequential manners. As it is a want the weight given to it is less than the needs of man and therefore must be balanced only against competing wants.

I have always felt an innate sense of justice and goodwill towards fellow man and all members of a unified universe. Therefore I don't want to support regimes or institutions whose actions contravene that part of my essence. The recent intense efforts of labour union leadership to oppose civil rights legislation to protect workers from being discriminated against based on their birth traits has had a major impact on this decision. The automobile industry heavily supports labour unions and other oppressive institutions.

The health benefits are obvious. I think it would be belaboring to go into this axiom so I won't digress here.

The financial costs of purchasing, operating, servicing and maintaining a vehicle can be significant. Although the ancillary costs are huge I will just mention some of them along with the direct cost here. Obviously the purchase price which may include financing charges. Operating primarily includes gasoline purchases but also includes insurance and registration costs. Maintenance includes oil changes, parts, tires and cosmetic enhancements including car washes. Finally, servicing which is an often overlooked cost. This includes fees for parking at a facility, curbside or an apartment complex. There may be a physical structure at home in which to store the car. The construction, maintenance and added insurance cost, especially if attached to the residence, must also be included. Can't overlook the dangly things that adorn the interior rear-view mirror nor the cleaning supplies for the spilled coffee.

I guess what finally secured my decision to forego using my automobile was blowing out the rear main seal. The effort that I would need to expend heavily outweighs the costs of not doing it, so F it!!!

Lastly, I told you I would give you the skinny on not obtaining a license until I was age 25. This event was one of the driving forces behind my incessant attempts to get people to communicate properly.

Not unlike most youngsters coming of age and seeking independence I started the process of driving. I had been, wrongly, scripted to believe that driving and having a car was synonymous with independence or freedom. So, I got a permit sometime around age 16. Just a piece of paper back then, not sure if that has changed. It went through the wash and well, you know the results. Never one to rush I eventually returned to the BMV a year or so later to seek an operators license. I was told by the clerk the various procedural operations and to "bring your own car". All sounded good.

So I found a neighbor who had an old car for sale and made the arrangements to purchase it. I then checked with an insurance agent to get a quote for coverage on that vehicle. As the procedural operations there were explained I was then smacked with the Catch 22. I needed to supply my operators license number to him to get coverage. Yet, I couldn't get an operators license without owning a vehicle and implicitly operating legally by having it registered and insured. This was another F it moment.

Since, by implication, I was to illegally operate the car to get the operators license I just went ahead and drove without one. Then shortly after getting married my wife was going to buy a replacement vehicle. The a-ha moment struck. I could have her add my name to the title. I would then be an "owner" of a vehicle that was registered, plated and insured. After doing so we went to the BMV and I became a legal operator of a motor vehicle.

My of my, it would have been much easier if some stupid twit was aware of the difference between "possession" and "ownership". But those people exist and for us, unfortunately, they find refuge in government work or computer software writing.

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©2008, 2012 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it's entirety with credit given.


1 comment:

Leo said...

Used cars are better to buy than new car. Why? Because used cars are affordable, economical and if you are buying from Japanese auctions you can buy auctioned used cars.