Midday today I was planning to go to downtown's library and pick up a book on hold, and I realized I felt like driving. Usually I'd do such a trip by bus; that's always the case on weekdays, and of course the bus pass makes it convenient to do so. But I felt like driving.
This caused internal debate. Drive somewhere to do one thing? Would I allow myself to do that? I try not to do that. And with the genuine disaster that's still sending enormous amounts of oil where it should never be, how could I justify that trip, even a short one? And really, my only reasons were A) It's convenient and B) I wanted to drive.
I could justify it by saying that, by most car owners' standards, I drive very little. (Never mind plenty of people can't drive at all.) This tank of gas is already paid for. (But I will buy more tanks of gas in the future -- unless I decide I'd be a hypocrite if I did so and just got rid of the car -- and would the oil situation be better or worse by then?) I'll drive carefully, and it's always good to get more practice. To quote Capt. Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager, "You can use logic to justify anything."
At some level, it's probably good I had this debate, that I didn't just pile into the car without thinking this, but there's a good chance that sometime in my lifetime I'd always have to have that debate. That lots of people would have to have it. And I'm not automatically a better person for debating it when I didn't necessarily have to; I still did the convenient thing, right? The easy thing? The most I did was, I made one other stop downtown, at Border's to pick up a CD and a DVD I'll send to people as gifts. (Gifts that'll be shipped in trucks and planes, all using gas...) Could've been worse; I could've driven to one place, parked, did that bit of business, then drive further and park again before doing the next bit of business, THEN leave. I did use my legs, as I often do, to navigate downtown. Makes sense to do so. Driving didn't necessarily make sense.
Yet another way that it's hard to think about current events. And I'm nowhere near the places directly affected by them.
Why don't I have a bike yet? Get on that, Chris!