A week after my surgeon released me to work from hip surgery, I got a job with a stone mason crew as the hod carrier. And four months later, my hip is doing well.
I still don’t have a car but I am able to catch a ride, carpool, with a couple different co-workers. I did have to bicycle to the job site once. The site is a few miles northeast of the Budweiser plant so it took about 45 minutes to ride there. This got the attention of all the other contractors. “This guy rode his bike from town then mixed mud and carried hod all day,” I heard an electrician tell another.
So one of the main contractors got wind of this and asked me some questions about my story. When I told him I wanted to get LEED accredited and work with green building, he immediately got his hackles up which led to him complaining about Obama attacking the Wyoming coal industry. That, coupled with riding my bike to work, made him label me as “just a damn hippie.” Then he proceeded to let me know how bicyclists in Wyoming expect to get run off the road so they bail when they here a vehicle behind them, and that’s the way it should be. He rationalized this by saying bikes don’t pay gas taxes so they don’t belong on the road.
There were so many arguments to make against what he was saying. But he had also called me a hypocrite, more or less, because I rode in a vehicle to work. So that’s when I said, “wait a minute, I’m just doing what works for me. I haven’t said anything about what you do. You asked my story, then got offended by it.” He agreed, laughed, and told me to “keep on trying to save the world then.”
But this is what we’re dealing with. Not to put this guy down too much, he’s nice overall, and just a bit of a goofball. He’s not alone with his stance though, many people get offended by others wanting to be green, liberal or even just progressive. Why?
When he was making fun of me for wanting to “save the world”, I asked him about the future of the planet and his children, he laughed and said they’re screwed.
I’ll keep carpooling to work, riding my bike everywhere else, and I’ll keep trying to tactfully point out our careless waste and the need for conservation. They can make fun of me but I’m still planting a seed in some not-so-fertile “ground”.