August 12, 2004

It is easy to act outright. It takes more nerve and courage to question first and evaluate the motives of one’s actions. And it’s almost extreme to make up one’s main after all those steps and being able to act rationally against one’s first hunch…

Yesterday I had a good conversation about ownership. These days I’m going through a process whether to acquire a car or not. Barely there has been a moment in my adult life when I did not have my own vehicle (usually a fast one). Now I’m selling my bike but seriously thinking of not getting anything as a replacement.

Why do we need a car? In many cases if one lives in a big city it’s much cheaper to rent a car or use a taxi instead. This same analogy applies to a summer cottage / yacht and other stuff as well. Even though the financial calculations would indicate clearly that there is no point buying anything – still we do it.

Illusion of freedom is one of my favourites. At your own will you can go whenever and wherever you desire. Yeah, right. Thinking about my past years there haven’t been that many of those spontanious acts of freedom carried out. Living in the downtown is more hassle free without using a car no matter whether one has it or not.

Another good point was that one do not want to think about the costs all the time. It’s easier to hand out a thick pile of cash at once and then pretend that the capital costs are not real. When using taxi one has to think about money every time.
As a car owner one pretends to ignore the endless maintenance costs, insurances, taxes, and of course the petrol costs. And the biggest of all in more expensive vehicles is the huge depreciation of capital. Quite a lot of money to be burned just to have a nice option to use the vehicle if one would need it and being able to forget the money issue at least for every 400 kms or so.

How about the real motives? Above were the obvious ones. But the true ones have nothing to do with the transportation from A to B. Our mind is a master to hide the true motives under rational surface with convenience and practicality etc. Who can admit that owning one’s own vehicle has nothing to do with self-esteem, ego, showing off or ownership (i.e. feeling of security by owning)? If not why is the world full of exciting and exotic cars with more horsepowers and gadgets one would need to get from A to B even in the normal range of family cars. And most of all we have the taxis and public transportation anyhow where one can work at the same time while travelling. I am what I consume and possess might not be that far from the truth still today. Poor nature and environment. They have to bear the consequences of all our useless nonsense.

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