Day 4: May the Sporks Be With YouJune 17, 2012 3:11 am Leave your thoughts
Today we left the warm confines of the McGlinchey household and headed off to a meet-and-greet with the Dartmouth Alumni Club of Long Island at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island. They greeted us with a grand spread of bagels, fruits and other treats, and demonstrated lots of enthusiasm for the bus. Even with the great breakfast, I didn’t know that it was going to be a day of epic proportions until I saw a Stormtrooper (straight out of a Star Wars set) walk through the doors of the museum about midway through our alumni event. Our next event with museum patrons primarily involved talking to the visitors alongside hosting Darth Vader and monitoring Jawas to ensure that they weren’t stealing our veg. See Sparker’s video for more.
During the event, I had a conversation with a man about alternative forms of energy. He agreed with all of my (our) sentiments regarding solar and biofuel, but repeatedly said that these options aren’t viable. He explained to me that solar installations aren’t subsidized in New York, and that our American infrastructure prevents anybody from accessing biodiesel with necessary ease. I nodded and hummed “mm-hm” in solidarity, but realized later, after talking with Ari, how wrong I was. The American citizen who understands what must be done to live a more environmentally responsible life feels helpless in the face of government and infrastructure. I don’t know whether this is rooted in a general sense of political apathy or something else. But because the government doesn’t subsidize solar panel installation, none of these well-informed citizens buy solar panels. And because the demand for biodiesel is quite low, these people only talk about buying diesel cars. What I think we all need to realize is that by living in a democracy our right to influence government regulation is limited only by our lack of courage to roll up our sleeves and say “We’re making change now.”
Last takeaway from today: every word, phrase and sentence that you say to somebody has the potential to be something meaningful and wonderful just as much as it has the potential to be something domineering or offensive. I realized today that when I talk, I should speak, and that when I speak, I need to speak in concurrence with what is accepted by both my culture of morals and my counterpart’s culture of morals. This goes for my interactions with visitors of the bus, and my own family.