To Walk or Not to Walk
Imagine if people suddenly had no legs anymore. We would be practically nailed to the ground. We couldn't go to the pub and we couldn't meet new people. If we couldn't meet new people, we couldn't fall in love. If we couldn't fall in love, there would be no babies. No babies equals no human race anymore, and no human race means no pastry chefs, and that means no chocolate cakes. And I absolutely adore chocolate cakes!
Leaving the silly notion of our legs simply vanishing aside, they are one of many means of transportation, which is a major motive of our modern world. We provide it in various ways, not only by walking. Our legs will most probably stay with us for quite some time – but they did get some competition. First came the horses and carriages, providing people with a swift means of transportation across the country. Next were the trains, allowing transportation for masses at the expense of privacy and the freedom of taking one's own path. The 20th century saw the arrival of motorised vehicles: cars, motorcycles, scooters, buses and so on; they provided us with independence and incomparable speed of travel. The question is, do our trusty legs have any advantages over the seemingly superior motorised vehicles?
The advancement of automotive technology in the past decades was astonishing. A simple set of four wheels, a couple of iron bars and a simple contraption evolved into one of the most popular and trendsetting devices on Earth, scoring especially with its unparalleled ease, speed and comfort of travelling. Cars even became objects of desire, status symbols – far more than what they were originally designed as.
What could our pedes possibly have to offer to compete with something like a Ferrari? First off, they are fully under our control. I cannot think of any news about a pedestrian suddenly losing control over his feet and crashing into a display window, leaving one dead, several injured and.the store owner in tears. Furthermore, walking is cheap. We are born with legs free of charge, we don't have to refuel every few hundred kilometres, there is no insurance cost, and a small bump will quickly repair itself. In addition, walking is extremely healthy and helps prevent the diseases – for example thrombosis – that may ultimately render our legs useless.
They both come with drawbacks, though. The car is at times horribly expensive and prone to defects, while Mr. Murphy makes sure that the parking lot is full at the most inappropriate times. We don't have to park our feet, so this means one point for them. However, on certain occasions we have to arrive at our destination as quickly as possible, and this is where cars clearly beat walking. I am somewhat of an environmentalist, so I award my legs an additional point for not fuming up our atmosphere with dangerous gases. They don't require roads, either.
I have to admit that I might be a little biased towards cars, since I don't yet have a drivers license, but walking clearly takes this win home, scoring especially with the low upkeep cost and the health benefit. When clean cars will roll on our streets – and when I will finally have a license – I will consider giving them a chance. Until then, though, I will make best use of my legs, and at times granting them some rest by taking the bus. That way I can at least sit back, look out of the window and enjoy my piece of chocolate cake.