Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Vintage Limo Monologues #13

Driving a limo has sparked the philosopher in me. I'm already on #13 of things that this limo has caused me to contemplate on. One thing I was thinking about the past few weeks was how we judge others. I attended a gathering of kids speaking where one speaker was talking about the topic of conservation. He asked for a volunteer from the audience and started asking them questions in order to assess their carbon footprint and illustrate the things that we need to consider when considering our impact on the earth. At a certain point everyone in the audience seemed to be competing to see who had the best carbon footprint. Judging ran amok:

"Ha! I have a fuel efficient car. Our car is better than yours."
"All of the light bulbs in our home are energy efficient and yours are not!"
"Well we don't even use central air! Our carbon footprint is going to be one of the smallest and better!"

On one hand this made me smile. It is wonderful that conservation has become so "hip" that everyone wants to be "cool" and have a small carbon footprint! What leaps and bounds we have made for earth awareness in the past ten years! WOW!

The part that made me sad was the part where everyone was judging each other.

However, it is interesting how judging people on appearances and what you know about them never seems to turn out well. If you only have part of the information how can you judge?

One interesting example is with the limo. In reality most people who know me know that I hardly drive and don't really use the car that much so I don't engage in a lot of energy conservation talks with people about the limo.

However, imagine that someone who didn't know me was comparing me owning a limo to the person who owned the 2008 energy efficient car? Wouldn't you assume that their carbon footprint was less?

However, what I learned at the speech that night was interesting. The person who owned the energy efficient car drove so many miles with their car they actually used three times as much gas as I did each year. This brought their carbon footprint up higher in this category. Others used up to five or eight times as much fuel as I did each year. I think I was actually the lowest in the fuel usage category!

This is a small example, but it came to mind because it is such a concrete one. Sometimes it is hard to find concrete examples, but we all experience being judged in so many ways. A few weeks ago I had someone try to tell me I was not making good use of my time because they read my Facebook posts and felt I should have been answering their e-mail instead of doing the other things I posted about. Obviously that is an extreme example. There is no possible way anyone could make an assessment about time based on a few Facebook posts LOL!

Being a long time member of the nursing mama/attachment parenting/natural parenting community I've heard many comments about other mothers - "That is horrible that she is bottle feeding!" or "Why does she send her child to daycare?" among others. However, in reality it is impossible to judge another person's choices based on a few things one knows about them.

This post is a reminder for me and for all of my friends - let's make a pact to think twice next time we catch ourselves saying "Now why are they doing THAT?" In the past few years I've taken some time to look beneath the surface of some of these questions I've had about people and have learned some amazing things about people! So many people I might have dismissed in my youth, I find myself friends with as an adult because I took time to look beneath the surface and found beautiful things.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

101 Uses for a Vintage Limo #27: Feild Trip

Ah yes...I see the irony in this...we used the limo as transport to an overnight at the Springbrook nature preserve center (Read the post about conservation and the limo for more info on that). I transported five children (my son included) to the Springbrook nature preserve. I supplied the back of the limo with snacks and beverages while they provided me with directions using their map reading skills. Thank goodness their skills were good! Two of the other cars got lost going there. I joked that we were spared getting lost because God didn't want us wasting any more fuel driving that limo. This was our only out of town trip this year and we are still coming in way under the average American's fuel usage. Note: only own a limo if you walk and bike most places and you work from home!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

101 Uses for a Vintage Limo #26: Famous Ballerina Transport

After two years my little ballerina is still convinced that riding in a limo makes her famous. Don't you just love the way children see life? So of course when she had her final ballet performance this year we made it special by driving and arriving in style and having a little photo shoot as well.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

101 Uses for a Vintage Limo #25: Lunch with the Principal

I recently donated a limo ride to a local school auction for a very unique idea - lunch with the principal! That sounds fun! This is a copy of the thank you note they sent.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

101 Uses for a Vintage Limo #24: Treating Your Sister Like Royalty

When your sister lives overseas and goes to school far far away it is fun to treat her like royalty when she visits for the summer. We had fun showing Mosi the new limo last summer. Sunii even opened the door for her when we went shopping and around town with the car. She thought it was great!

101 Uses for a Vintage Limo #23: A First Date

Ok, I can't say much about this without embarrassing all parties involved. So I will just say - that when a boy has his first "date" - even if it is with his friend who happens to be a girl and two of her friends - going to the theater in a limo is a really cool way to mark that occassion. Especially if it was Valentine's Day:)

101 Uses for a Vintage Limo #22: Travel Around the World

Two weeks ago we visited four grocers in Des Moines as a unit in "cultural studies and local awareness". We stopped at the Arabic market and purchased amazing pita bread, we shopped at the Mexican market and sampled some quesadillas, we stopped at the Oriental market and purchased sushi rice, we stopped at the Indian store and purchased some food. We then came home and cooked all day! It was quite an adventure. And of course we drove everywhere in the limo :)