Saturday, April 28, 2007

Stolen Bicycle Musings

People. Just a complex, interesting mix of everything. Having my bike stolen in Grenoble last week has been making me think of the striking difference between the hostility, or at least utter unconcern, of the person(s) who took my only means of self-transportation, the caring shown by people around me upon hearing the news, and the act of complete generosity shown by the girl who lent me her bike for the next 3 months, even though she only knows me through a friend. So much of what makes us tick is community, a sense of group. The person who stole my bike didn't know me, and hence wasn't bothered by taking something important to me. I'm sure they would never have taken a bike belonging to someone they know, hang out with, etc., because they are people to them rather than a random, faraway person more immediately represented by the money invested in my bicycle. On the other hand, the person who lent me a bike didn't know me either, but due to our shared community, we're both scientists at the same workplace, we have a mutual friend, I was worthy of a lovely, kind act. Perhaps part of the answer to the violence and hostility in the world is expanding our communities??

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