SMART Car Rally and our need to be a part of something. Silly humans.

October 25, 2008

I got a call from my father Sunday. He was driving past a church in Hingham and saw about a dozen boxy, little SMART cars parked in their driveway. It turns out, they were in town to celebrate a meetup of like-minded car owners.

After his suggestion that I go take some photos of the event, which I provided to a few media outlets and also posted here, I started to think about our need to be included.

In anything.

With people.

Even odd people who drive little boxy cars.

What’s our major malfunction? Are humans so needy that they have to dress alike (witness the legions of people in Talbots garb all around the South Shore) or drive impractical vehicles (can you really find a purpose in Hummers for the general populace?).

I can understand the desire to be included. I went through high school as a slightly nerdy and excluded teen and it scarred me slightly. Conversely, I’ve been thrilled in my adult life to be part of fundraising, social and recreational groups. They’ve offered me the ability to expand my knowledge, meet new people and enjoy a variety of experiences.

So is this interaction as vital as food or water? Do we require this stimulation to exist and contribute to society?

What about monks who lock themselves away for years contemplating the world? That strikes me as an exercise as effective as trying to solve math problems without using any numbers. Maybe it can be done, but actual data probably proves more useful.

Coming back to the original question, I guess we’re not that silly. Participatory events like the SMART Fun Run this weekend and the collection of crazy things we all do make us unique.

What’s even more interesting is that something so strange as a boxy little car club can contribute to the very characteristics we treasure in others. The enviable trait of being well-rounded.

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