The common good, public sidewalk infrastructure (assuming that we can include sidewalks as part of the public transportation infrastructure) and public healthcare, are all served when we walk, provided we live in fully inclusive and safe neighborhoods. But walking is more than that, and also more than just a carbon footprint reduction:
Walking, for me, stirs something. I think better, I feel better both physically and emotionally, and I may even get somewhere at the same time. Walking gives me a sense of calm, a sense of health, even a sense of quiet strength (especially after a man on the bus I’d thought I missed saw me running to catch it after it passed me and then waited at the next bus stop; his exclamation of “I saw you walking back two blocks ago: a strong woman! made my day!).
These are feelings, compliments and insights that I never got when I drove my little car. More importantly, when I walk, I have a sense of solidarity. I feel not only that I am reducing my carbon impact, but also that I am sharing in a very Human activity that has moved us, literally, from out of Africa to almost every continent on the planet. With our feet. And that feels good. It feels like making progress, every time I stand up, flex those muscles, and move forward. That feels like I can go somewhere under my own power, and so can every other human being blessed with the health and strength to be ambulatory.
Of course low-impact living is important to me, but walking goes so much farther than that. I feel myself healing, even when I rush to a job running late, literally jogging in my good middle-class work clothes. I feel safer under my own foot-power, and I feel like I am in solidarity with those who cannot or simply, like myself, wish not, to drive a motor vehicle rather than get there under my own steam. And walking is a harmonious tool for keeping both the body and the mind sound, or making it sound if it is not. We have always known this, but now we add walking as a tool for both environmental justice, and for social and economic justice:
Walking makes us Equal. As Time Banking was invented to help do: walk the talk, equally.
October 1st, 12017 HE
So, it turns out that walking is still healthful and healing, in a variety of ways and for a variety of people and causes: let’s walk together, shall we?
1.) Search for two different walking routes to your local public library.
2.) Search for a train, light rail, or bus route to your main branch library.
3.) Share your thoughts on how a sidewalk might be designed to make walking safer for both pedestrians and drivers,
4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses that idea, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.
Click here to read, if you like:
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