Many years ago, when my sister was in her twenties, she had a simple rule to decide whether to buy something or not. She drove a blue Beetle. If whatever she was thinking of buying fit in her blue Beetle—along with all the other things she already had—she’d allow herself to buy it.
I’ve always liked this way of thinking. If you’ve ever done any serious traveling, you’ve probably heard experienced travelers tell you that the key to happy traveling is to travel light. Well, this is living light, with your car as a unit of measure.
Of course, nowadays, technology has allowed people to buy a lot more things and still manage to fit them in their cars. Books, for example. All you need is one tablet to save you from carrying thousands of heavy books along your journey. Same with music—records, tapes, CDs, etc.—I have access to more of it on my Spotify account than my record collection ever held.
Everything is getting lighter.
One thing that, weirdly enough, isn’t getting lighter is the cars themselves. My sister’s Beetle weighed about 800 kilos. Today, car designers would probably say those are rookie numbers. Every car category you can think of is bigger and heavier than its equivalent 40 years ago. Even small cars like the MINI and the Fiat 500 are much bigger and heavier than their original versions.
Weirder still, the cars that are supposed to be ecologically friendly—electric cars—easily outweigh every other car on the road. We’re talking 2,000 or even 3,000 kilos, which seems like a really crazy number when you just want to carry your own 80 kilos to the gym and back. Does anyone here really think these ultra-heavy electric vehicles are a solution to the ecological challenges humans face in the 21st century? If the goal is to avoid destroying our beautiful lands, oceans, and forests, where exactly are we going to find three tonnes of metals and rare minerals for every current driver on the road?
Just for comparison, our first car only weighs about 800 kilos. If you put your standard electric vehicle on one side of a ship, you’d have to put five of ours on the other side to avoid the ship capsizing. Five to one. Isn’t that amazing?
But there’s a lot more to lightness than your car’s weight, as we’ll find out in this blog. The way we see it, lightness is the key to happiness. And we’re not just talking about light living, as I described above. We’re talking about the lightness you feel when life is like a holiday; about lighthearted jokes; about developing a light impact on nature; about those moments of delight that make you feel like a kid again; and all the many other ways to experience lightness. So, this is going to be a blog about lightness. Enjoy the ride!