Friday Query: Defacto the Matter

Someone please show me the law of survival, or at least the rule of social imperative that says in order to get through this life one must have a drivers' license. True, when I grew up it was a given, a de facto right of passage, but these days things are different, young people are less compelled to feel they must meet that requirement. 

De fact o' the matter is I am beyond frustrated with various people (ie. [cough] family [cough]) who keep applying pressure, or announcing their displeasure with the son's lack of interest, questioning his decision, in conforming to this outdated standard. You may be familiar with all the inferences: "So, are you driving yet?", or "so, has He got his license yet?" All those typical, and seemingly innocent, questions that started two years ago at that magical, mystical age - Sixteen. I mean should we not be encouraging people to embrace alternative modes of transport in order to avoid compounding the problems that the single mode (motor vehicles) have inflicted on our world.

He is no dummy and, in fact, when you consider the reasons for the decision, I would say he is the exact opposite of a dummy. There is the extra, and extensive annual expense. There is the hazard, after all he has had a young lifetime of witnessing poor driving on the part of others he would be sharing the road with, the after-effects of collisions, and is aware of reports on the rising level of aggression and hostility on the public roadways. The natural, and widespread, reaction should be "why would any sane person want to be a part of that?" In other words he has considered the pros and cons, and come to the conclusion that one side is wanting.



For the most part I have been the one regular supporter of his decision, and have grown weary of the number of times I have had to tell people that it is possible to prosper without the motor vehicle crutch. I list the numerous people I know who prove the point by living motor-free themselves, I tell them that rail and other public transportation will continue to expand their networks, and that ride services greatly decrease the necessity for motor-ownership. That said, I have convinced him that knowing how to drive, whether you do it on a regular basis or not, will be a beneficial skill for some time yet to come - most notably, for someone of his age group, it does provide the opportunity to share the burden - and it has become one of his summer goals before heading off to college. So, yes people, he may succumb to the idea that driving is a necessity. My hope is that he retains the knowledge, and will, recognizing that it is not the only way.

I know the auto industry and all its related industries will bitch and moan, but quite frankly we need to move past coercion, making young people feel like they are lazy, or somehow less than successful if they choose not to drive. Thoughts or experiences with similar situations?

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