Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Difficult questions

I like hard questions. Yesterday, after I finished taking a shower (I shower at school in the big community shower along with a bunch of other guys), an older guy approached me and asked if I was there for the diving competition. I said no, because I wasn't. He then asked if I was a swimmer. Again I responded no, because I'm not. He said, "Oh" and walked off. A few moments later I realized that he had noticed my shaved legs in the shower and that was the reason he asked the questions. Not a big deal, I bet people wonder about my shaved legs all the time. They're especially obvious when I'm showering because I only shave to mid thigh so I have thick dark hair down half my thigh and then shaved legs to my ankles.

Today, while I was showering, the same gentleman stopped by and asked why I shaved my legs. I love it! This guy had the guts to ask. Not only did he have the guts to ask, but he had the guts to ask while I was naked in the shower. While it was a little awkward, I explained that I shaved for cycling (although at this point I shave more because I like to) and how it helps in healing wounds from crashing, etc.

I can imagine how hard it was to ask that question, but he did it anyway because he wanted to know. The answer was easy and we were both edified. Other questions are not as easy to answer, but still need to be posed. For example, do hybrid cars actually save money or green house gas emissions? Of course they do they get better gas mileage...But they also cost more and expel a lot more green-house gasses in production. I have heard that greenhouse gasses emitted in the production of hybrids far outweighs the savings you will receive in the life of the car. I don't have any data to back that up, but it is a hard question worth asking.

The other day I visited a new housing development in the area that is supposed to be a "green" community. The city layout was wonderful with sidewalks and bike trails everywhere and multi-use zoning so that commerce could be amongst the housing. The design was really pretty good. The area was being developed by a local mining company. Did they get relaxed EPA standards in their mining practices in exchange for this "green" community? Is the "green" community just a marketing scheme to make people feel better while it really doesn't make a difference? If it was done for marketing, and it does make a difference, does it matter that the intents were wrong? Why don't they allow solar panels in this "green" community?

I like hard questions. We need to be thinking in that direction. Everyone has heard the saying that there is no such thing as a stupid question. I disagree completely. But, if you ask a stupid question someone will tell you the answer and then you will know. If you don't ask the stupid question, you will be stupid forever. Take the risk and ask the hard questions. Maybe we can learn something from that.

2 comments:

NobbyNick said...

Funny post Sans because I was thinking about one of these questions when you went tp free in your home. It raises the same question as when you have a child in diapers. What wastes the least, cloth diapers, or disposable? Disposable fill up the land fills, but cloth take a lot of resources to clean. Maybe you know the answer to this one because it is a pretty common question. I haven't researched it.

I recently read just a tiny bit of a book called "What Is Your Dangerous Idea?" It explores the realm of hard questions.

I think that we (all of humanity) are fascinating because of the amount of stuff we believe only because we want to. We believe what fits our lives.

Emily said...

Lol. That guy had guts. And you have guts for shaving in public. Props to both of you!