Saturday, April 8, 2017

Not Your Normal Trip to the Grocery Store

Today, instead of driving to the grocery store to pick up an onion for my chili and some salad for this week’s lunches, I spontaneously decided to walk there. I know. That’s not a normal person move; but, the weather was nice, the grocery story is only about a mile from my house, the neighborhoods are safe, and I’m young…so why not?

The walk there was dandy. Nothing to report.

As I was returning from the story with a string-pack on my back and a cloth bag full of groceries in each hand, I was thinking, “I must look ridiculous…people will think that I’m a bum…that I don’t belong in this part of town….” Then suddenly, “There are people who do this everyday.” 

It’s true. There are thousands of people in the world—probably more—who have no other means of transportation other than their own two legs. They don’t have a car, and they are not able to access a bus or train system, or they might be too poor to afford it. They have to walk anywhere they want to go. They walk to work, walk to the grocery, walk to church, walk to the library, walk to the pool, walk to everywhere. I am sure people get used to it eventually, but that still takes dedication in a world that is constantly zooming around past you.

I began to think about how not having a car to drive would affect me. I have a 20-minute commute one-way to work, so if I didn’t have a car, I wouldn’t have my job. I couldn’t have my job. It would be too far away from where I live for me to walk, and no bus could get me there (or anywhere close).

As I was walking and thinking about this, I felt a sense of solidarity with those who are forced by their circumstances to walk wherever they need or want to go.

Solidarity is not a new idea or experience for me. After all, that was part of what my time living and working in a maternity home was all about. Most of the moms had to walk, or ask friends for rides, before they came to live at the home. (Once they got there, we were able to provide them with bus passes, thanks to a grant.) I felt like I was really experiencing a small part of their lives—and others’ lives—by walking, even if it was only for this one trip.

It was good to be reminded of people other than myself and what their experience of life is like. My circumstances truly are a blessing.


  1. Stasia, I love this! Since I don't normally have use of a car during the day, it's really helped me to experience a little bit of solidarity, too (though since I live in a rough part of town, I don't walk to the grocery store) when I occasionally walk to a thrift store about half a mile away. And I've become acquainted with one of the women who works at my apartment who doesn't have a car, and it's been eye-opening to the reality that her and so many people experience of having to ask rides, walking, or relying on the unpredictable bus system.

  2. AnneMarie,
    Thanks for sharing! I'm so glad that you can relate! :)