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RE: [carfree_cities] I have a problem!

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  • Ian Finnesey
    ... Get on the zoning board. That s where the psycho-shit begins. Me, I m not all that keen on car-free, but walkability would be nice. How many north
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 8, 2002
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      --- Louis-Luc <exqmtl@...> wrote:

      > I'm from Montreal suburb, and my life quest is to
      > end up living in a carfree area, ideally creating
      > one
      > near where I live.
      >

      Get on the zoning board. That's where the psycho-shit
      begins.

      Me, I'm not all that keen on "car-free," but
      walkability would be nice. How many north american
      cities can boast that? I doubt I'd have to take my
      socks off to count the ones over 30,000 people that
      can, and I wouldn't even get round to taking my pants
      off to count the ones under, I suspect.

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    • smca013@ec.auckland.ac.nz
      Greetings to Christian David & all Here in Auckland NZ, things are pretty car-dominated too, and I completely empathise with your rage! It s quite justified!
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 9, 2002
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        Greetings to Christian David & all
        Here in Auckland NZ, things are pretty car-dominated too, and I completely
        empathise with your rage! It's quite justified!
        But, there is a bigger picture, that might help you. It's what works for me,
        anyway. Everyone has to work out their own approach, but sharing our
        experiences is useful.

        I don't know if you know about the idea of a "Koan" - it's a Zen idea. It's
        like a paradoxical riddle.
        For me, living a car-free life in a car-dominated environment is like a
        personal koan. The struggle is, knowing you are doing something which is for
        the good of the whole planet, while it seems almost everyone else is behaving
        in what feels, to us cyclists, pedestrians etc, like utterly selfish and
        destructive behaviour. It's all to easy to fall into negative rage and
        resentment. This is really stressful and tiring. And it does not further our
        cause: think of people you know who are all-consumed by some other cause (about
        which you don't feel strongly) for me that might be a religious evangelist who
        tries to force their views on me without respecting where I'm at. Or whatever.
        The Angry Activist.

        Anyway, if your anger is expressed harshly (and maybe it isn't- perhaps what
        you're talking about is happening inside only!), it puts people off, because
        it's unpleasant to be around. That can alienate the people we need to contact
        most.
        But there's hope! It's about learning that anger is a coin with 2 sides. The
        other side is righteous anger that is expressed in a "skilful" and judicious
        way.

        This isn't something anyone can learn overnight, and indeed, it remains
        diffcult for me at times!
        It requires a preparedness to work with our own deep down hurts and anger and
        everything that "pushes our buttons"! (going way back to childhood at times!).
        It requires learning to be more aware and mindful (in a kindly way) of what is
        going on inside as well as outside you mind/heart.

        The other day I was biking up a hill, and someone in a shiny sports car turned
        into a side street nearly knocking me off. I saw a chance to go and tell him
        off, as he was manoeuvering into a driveway. But first, before acting , I
        thought:
        "Can i do this without exploding into rage? The guy is simply ignorant and it's
        not entirely his fault. He's a product of a consumerist, car-dominated society;
        he's deluded by it. Poor thing! He has even bought into sports-car as status
        symbol thing - gee I really feel sorry for him!"

        That meant I was able to go up to him and give him a telling off, without being
        overly negative. Afterwards I felt satisfied that I'd made him think, and
        although I hadn't flown into a nasty rage, I had rightly defended myself. I
        even got an apology out of him!!!
        (There are other times when I've gotten into a really bad state of mind and
        screamed abuse at motorists: this clearly doesn't advance our "cause", so now I
        only every tell someone off if I'm sure I've got my anger safely "channelled"!)

        The bigger picture for me to is have an over-arching ideal in life (for some
        people, religion or psychotherapy is useful in that way). My ideal is to do my
        best not to increase suffering (e.g., by making that driver feel defensive),
        and to develop and to learn positive ways of responding to the mess that humans
        are making: life is a learning experience. The Angry Activist can just become a
        negative stereotype - don't buy into it. Having a bigger picture of the
        situation can help.
        This I hope doesn't sound too much like new-age touchy feely stuff! But for me
        it helps.
        Well, I hope that's useful.
        Keep going,
        Sally
      • Randall Hunt
        Check out http://www.arcosanti.org They are dealing with issues of building carfree urbanisms right now, and actively, albeit slowly, constructing a prototype
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 10, 2002
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          Check out http://www.arcosanti.org They are dealing with issues of
          building carfree urbanisms right now, and actively, albeit slowly,
          constructing a prototype in Arizona. They offer workshops and I highly
          recommend them. You will meet some very interesting like-minded people.
          They could use your help and enthusiasm.


          >Date: Sun, 08 Sep 2002 19:58:56 -0000
          >From: "cndpandit" <nimaid@...>
          >Subject: I have a problem!
          >
          > Hello, My name is Christian David and I am developing quite a
          >problem. I live in Canada. I discovered early in my life that I had a
          >true love for nature. I also discovered that I dont beleive in or
          >appreciate the combustion engine technology. (It seems though in
          >North America without a car you are forced to live quite a deprived
          >life.) So I accepted that I would only support financially a better
          >technology. Then I discovered Carfree.com. I was litterally blown
          >away. The possibility did not occure to me. An urban environment
          >without cars. I was in love. However now Ive developed a large
          >problem. I take the bus and it feels like the most barberic
          >monstrosity all the turns,cofee spilling on myself, the waiting
          >times. As I walk down the street huddled to the side while trafic
          >zooms by. I feel anger. As my rights are being violated. As I stop to
          >wait for traffic to cross the street I look at individulals, couples
          >families with despise, I want to flick them the bird, ( They would
          >not have a clue why I'd do that, would they) I was given a vision of
          >something I feel is so much better than what seems to be engrained in
          >North American culture like blood. And Yes Its growning into a pure
          >hatred for everything car related around me. Please Help, What do I
          >do?
        • S Baddeley
          I hope this message about the difficulty and importance of struggling to combine political commitment with good manners and not minding being labelled soft
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 10, 2002
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            I hope this message about the difficulty and importance of struggling to
            combine political commitment with good manners and not minding being
            labelled "soft" is taken on board. I share the feelings described here at
            times - especially when I see great swathes of my country blighted by the
            searing roar of motorised traffic and urban communities blighted by traffic
            speeding between traffic jams - but try to keep them inside, because rage is
            ridiculous as well as futile. To maintain equanimity requires the
            discipline to be a good and decent person. It is hard work and the result of
            struggle with oneself. I think it does get a bit easier with age - but
            that's only because red mist isn't triggered so swiftly or so profusely.

            Simon




            ----- Original Message -----
            From: <smca013@...>
            To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2002 2:59 AM
            Subject: [carfree_cities] RE: I have a problem!


            Greetings to Christian David & all
            Here in Auckland NZ, things are pretty car-dominated too, and I completely
            empathise with your rage! It's quite justified!
            But, there is a bigger picture, that might help you. It's what works for me,
            anyway. Everyone has to work out their own approach, but sharing our
            experiences is useful.
            situation can help.
            This I hope doesn't sound too much like new-age touchy feely stuff! But for
            me
            it helps.
            Well, I hope that's useful.
            Keep going,
            Sally




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          • cndpandit
            ... completely ... works for me, ... our ... idea. It s ... like a ... which is for ... is behaving ... selfish and ... and ... further our ... cause (about
            Message 5 of 9 , Sep 10, 2002
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              --- In carfree_cities@y..., smca013@e... wrote:
              > Greetings to Christian David & all
              > Here in Auckland NZ, things are pretty car-dominated too, and I
              completely
              > empathise with your rage! It's quite justified!
              > But, there is a bigger picture, that might help you. It's what
              works for me,
              > anyway. Everyone has to work out their own approach, but sharing
              our
              > experiences is useful.
              >
              > I don't know if you know about the idea of a "Koan" - it's a Zen
              idea. It's
              > like a paradoxical riddle.
              > For me, living a car-free life in a car-dominated environment is
              like a
              > personal koan. The struggle is, knowing you are doing something
              which is for
              > the good of the whole planet, while it seems almost everyone else
              is behaving
              > in what feels, to us cyclists, pedestrians etc, like utterly
              selfish and
              > destructive behaviour. It's all to easy to fall into negative rage
              and
              > resentment. This is really stressful and tiring. And it does not
              further our
              > cause: think of people you know who are all-consumed by some other
              cause (about
              > which you don't feel strongly) for me that might be a religious
              evangelist who
              > tries to force their views on me without respecting where I'm at.
              Or whatever.
              > The Angry Activist.
              >
              > Anyway, if your anger is expressed harshly (and maybe it isn't-
              perhaps what
              > you're talking about is happening inside only!), it puts people
              off, because
              > it's unpleasant to be around. That can alienate the people we need
              to contact
              > most.
              > But there's hope! It's about learning that anger is a coin with 2
              sides. The
              > other side is righteous anger that is expressed in a "skilful" and
              judicious
              > way.
              >
              > This isn't something anyone can learn overnight, and indeed, it
              remains
              > diffcult for me at times!
              > It requires a preparedness to work with our own deep down hurts and
              anger and
              > everything that "pushes our buttons"! (going way back to childhood
              at times!).
              > It requires learning to be more aware and mindful (in a kindly way)
              of what is
              > going on inside as well as outside you mind/heart.
              >
              > The other day I was biking up a hill, and someone in a shiny sports
              car turned
              > into a side street nearly knocking me off. I saw a chance to go and
              tell him
              > off, as he was manoeuvering into a driveway. But first, before
              acting , I
              > thought:
              > "Can i do this without exploding into rage? The guy is simply
              ignorant and it's
              > not entirely his fault. He's a product of a consumerist, car-
              dominated society;
              > he's deluded by it. Poor thing! He has even bought into sports-car
              as status
              > symbol thing - gee I really feel sorry for him!"
              >
              > That meant I was able to go up to him and give him a telling off,
              without being
              > overly negative. Afterwards I felt satisfied that I'd made him
              think, and
              > although I hadn't flown into a nasty rage, I had rightly defended
              myself. I
              > even got an apology out of him!!!
              > (There are other times when I've gotten into a really bad state of
              mind and
              > screamed abuse at motorists: this clearly doesn't advance
              our "cause", so now I
              > only every tell someone off if I'm sure I've got my anger
              safely "channelled"!)
              >
              > The bigger picture for me to is have an over-arching ideal in life
              (for some
              > people, religion or psychotherapy is useful in that way). My ideal
              is to do my
              > best not to increase suffering (e.g., by making that driver feel
              defensive),
              > and to develop and to learn positive ways of responding to the mess
              that humans
              > are making: life is a learning experience. The Angry Activist can
              just become a
              > negative stereotype - don't buy into it. Having a bigger picture of
              the
              > situation can help.
              > This I hope doesn't sound too much like new-age touchy feely stuff!
              But for me
              > it helps.
              > Well, I hope that's useful.
              > Keep going,
              > Sally


              It is always a pleasure to encounter a human being as beutifull as
              you are, Sally in New Zealand. I thank you very much for creating
              your reply. I too also enjoy the finner aspects of human emotions.
              I agree with you whole hardedly. I however feel that anger
              chanelled into consructive action is one of the strongest human
              forces in the world. For that is the pivot point of change is it
              not. I am a capitalist, I am very aware that in our society If I
              create the sollution to a problem, I could make alada money. I feel
              very fortunate to live in a world with so many problems. Its just
              that for one moment I sliped, I felt for that moment: "For Gods Sake!
              Is most of the world mentally handicap, Why arent we more inclined to
              truely enjoy the benefits of progress."

              I greatly admire your commitment in being a cyclist, pedestrian. Also
              your effort in being a better person is excisitly refreshing.

              Take great care,
              Chris
            • cndpandit
              ... had a ... Hello Louis-Luc, I am very glad to meet you. I live fairly close, The city of Gatineau, formerly known as Hull, or to summ it up internationally,
              Message 6 of 9 , Sep 10, 2002
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                --- In carfree_cities@y..., "Louis-Luc" <exqmtl@a...> wrote:
                > > Hello, My name is Christian David and I am developing quite a
                > > problem. I live in Canada. I discovered early in my life that I
                had a
                > ...
                >
                > Hello Christian,
                >
                > Welcome in!
                >
                > I agree with 100% of what you wrote, it is represen-
                > tative of what the deepest of my heart (my soul) feels.
                >
                > I'm also a Canadian, and I feel the same hate,
                > anger, and sorrow about how the car has corrupted
                > the fundamental values of our society, and how it has
                > degraded our life quality. I feel like in a prison
                > when I go out near a street where cars are zooming like
                > crazy. I feel anger, constantly thinking about pushing
                > some obstacle into this obstacle, so I can just pull
                > out my bike and ride along SAFELY. I'm also tired of
                > paying taxes for some roads I don't feel welcome on.
                >
                > For me, the worst problem with cars is SAFETY. Carfree
                > places are THE BEST, but however, I still feel somewhat
                > good in places where there are some cars, but the speed
                > is controlled by force, or the design forces good driving.
                >
                > What province are you from?
                >
                > I'm from Montreal suburb, and my life quest is to
                > end up living in a carfree area, ideally creating one
                > near where I live.
                >
                > No, you don't have a problem, the corrupted society has
                > one though, that imposes a physical handicap to people
                > thinking like us and to others as well (but they don't see it!).
                >
                > Louis-Luc

                Hello Louis-Luc,
                I am very glad to meet you. I live fairly close,
                The city of Gatineau, formerly known as Hull, or to summ it up
                internationally, Ottawa. I can tell you this right now, we can
                possibly collaborate, and/or we can just stay in touch and with that
                you can experience your life quest. Lets join projects or come up
                with a new one. I must be honest however I couldnt begin
                implementation of any car free developing or restructuring till at
                least fall, 2003. I would love to choose Montreal, If it interest
                you to exchange coordinates, just respond.
              • cndpandit
                ... struggling to ... here at ... by the ... traffic ... because rage is ... result of ... but ... profusely. ... lol red mist huh, lol Sometimes in order to
                Message 7 of 9 , Sep 10, 2002
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                  --- In carfree_cities@y..., "S Baddeley" <s.j.baddeley@b...> wrote:
                  > I hope this message about the difficulty and importance of
                  struggling to
                  > combine political commitment with good manners and not minding being
                  > labelled "soft" is taken on board. I share the feelings described
                  here at
                  > times - especially when I see great swathes of my country blighted
                  by the
                  > searing roar of motorised traffic and urban communities blighted by
                  traffic
                  > speeding between traffic jams - but try to keep them inside,
                  because rage is
                  > ridiculous as well as futile. To maintain equanimity requires the
                  > discipline to be a good and decent person. It is hard work and the
                  result of
                  > struggle with oneself. I think it does get a bit easier with age -
                  but
                  > that's only because red mist isn't triggered so swiftly or so
                  profusely.
                  >
                  > Simon
                  >
                  >
                  lol red mist huh, lol


                  Sometimes in order to be a good person one has to stand up and
                  say "thats enough".

                  Now with car free, I truely think its a case of; How can anyone
                  know they like something if they have never seen it.

                  And so with that Yes I am a little pissed at human kinds lack of
                  insight.

                  I will make a point to savour my red mist, for I rather enjoy it.

                  lol I wish you the best,

                  Chris
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