What does it take to be wise?

Multiple Choice (My favorite type of questions)

What does it take to be wise?  Is it?

  1. Read Calvin and Hobbes faithfully and meditate, or
  2. Mars bars and Caesar salad, or
  3. learn from your mistakes, or
  4. learn from other peoples mistakes?

That’s what is tough about multiple choice, they’re tricky, and sometimes more than one answer is right. However the person asking the question only accepts one answer as correct, but it that right?

The correct answer is #4 – learn from other people’s mistakes. (maybe I’m wrong though in this case because Calvin and Hobbes are really cool).  (the coloured font is a link if you don’t know about Calvin & Hobbes)


What prompts me to write this post?

If you go to youtube and input a search “dutch and cycling” it comes up with some interesting youtube videos about the Dutch and their cycling paths.

My quickie summary – After World War II the Dutch economy improved and cars became more plentiful, cars and car parks, cars and accidents, cars and decreased cycling, and all of problems that come with lack of exercise.

Eventually the Dutch rebelled and told their government they wanted change and they protested.  The government listened and it lead to the safe and plentiful cycle paths in the Netherlands now, copied in many other European countries but not (sadly) in North America.

Read more here – link to How the Dutch got their cycling infrastructure

Here is where I wonder what you think. I am interested because I live in a delightful little city roughly 8 kilometres between the lakes.  In my opinion it is ideal in length and lack of hills for the most part for non motorized vehicles, and the encouragement of all the benefits that are derived therefrom.

Are we wise enough to learn from the Dutch?  I hope so,  if we can’t learn from other people’s mistakes then can we learn from the millions of Happy Dutch who are happy on healthy on their bikes and bike paths?

dutch cycling

About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
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18 Responses to What does it take to be wise?

  1. dfolstad58 says:

    Reblogged this on Life and Random Thinking and commented:

    My kind and thoughtful readers let me repost a video that received no votes or likes in 2014. This post is also feeling a little sad – 8 years later, still no likes or love. Can you make it happy?


  2. Darlene says:

    I love Calvin and Hobbes!! I enjoyed seeing all the Dutch folks on their bikes when I visited Holland. Everyone looked so happy.


  3. lghiggins says:

    The video was enlightening. Although, in general, I think this would be a healthier way to live, I have a few issues with it. One is the distances between cities in Canada and the U.S. and the size of the cities themselves compared to European countries. Another issue is the lifespan we enjoy today. Cycling is just not practical for many seniors. There would also be issues for the disabled. Finally, the drop in children’s deaths was amazing, but probably not quite honest as during that time span seat belts were instituted in cars along with child safety seats. That would have accounted for some of that drop without cycling.
    Although I sound very negative, I really think it is a good means of transportation; in your case it has been extremely important to your physical and mental well being. I guess I am playing devil’s advocate. In this crazy world, there are so many critical issues. We need to concentrate on affecting the changes that we can; I think you are dong that and doing a good job of it.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Hi Linda, you do not sound negative. In my mind it sounds like you are evaluating. I like that you give feedback and I don’t see feedback as criticism when thoughtful like yours.
      The closeness and density of Europe does lend itself to bikes better but I think in Canada and the USA cities are now seeing the problems with city spread. LA covers hundreds of miles and so does Toronto and Calgary. Density is the answer to many problems. Too much time and space is lost to serving cars. Many seniors in Penticton have found the joy of cycling again on ebikes. Recently I met this lady in her 80’s at least with a huge smile on her face riding the KVR on her ebike, she was at least 30 Km from town when I saw her and she was on her return trip!
      I think cycling is an option to be investigated and developed and to be evaluated we have to make it a viable option. It could make life better and reduce congestion for cars also. Thank you for giving it some thought, I value that. – David

      Liked by 1 person

      • lghiggins says:

        I agree on your statement that it could make life better. I’m not sure big cities are a good idea anyway–the congestion you mention, the concentration of people. If we could live and work in smaller centers, I think it would give us more opportunities for things like biking and for a sense of community. From what I understand, people are fleeing San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York for many reasons. One of the rare upsides to the lock downs is that businesses are discovering they can actually succeed with people working at home, enabling this big city exodus. It makes me grind my teeth thinking of all the women who were put down over the years for trying to convince their bosses to let them work, at least part time, from home. Although as a retired teacher, I am totally in favor of in person education without masks! I think we are probably close in agreement on what makes a quality life.


      • dfolstad58 says:

        I think you are right Linda. I imagine it has nothing to do with a big house or the latest gadget or vehicle. It has to with family, health, friends and contentment. – David

        Liked by 1 person

  4. LA says:

    I hope I learn from mistakes of others…


  5. pkadams says:

    We escaped the big city 19 years ago and now live 13 miles of hills from the closest town with no safe way to get there without driving due to the constant big trucks that pass through. I have run that route before on a weekend but it’s pretty nerve wracking ! There’s not much shoulder so if a car isn’t paying attention you’re a goner . But I like the idea of people using bikes who live within a close community. I wish the two towns near me had bike paths. They don’t even have sidewalks.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Awesome that you have escaped the big centre. I read your situation about the lack of bike lane. I think I read an article about a man who had a similar situation who when he went riding he stuck a big foam noodle sideways on the rattrap of his bike so it stuck out at least 3 feet. It was bright pink or yellow. A lot of people would yell at him but it was an awareness thing that he did and I think a vertical flag would not have done the same job at all. The area where you are must be beautiful and it would be awesome if you could ride it safely and see and feel the outdoors as you enjoy the fresh air. = Best wishes my friend. – David

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pooja G says:

    I love the idea of more people being able to cycle instead of using vehicles. I think it’s not possible everywhere but we should try since it’s better for our health and environment.


  7. debscarey says:

    The Dutch do, indeed, do cycling the best. Over here we’ve had a stab at it, but the infrastructure changes were too significant. so we ended up with things like sidewalks becoming shared with cyclists where they are near areas of high cycling (in the suburbs on routes to schools for example) but those quickly became dangerous for older pedestrians to use. London has a serious focus on cycles, but the signage and structure of roads means that there’s still too much sharing with traffic (and heavy traffic at that). As a result, cycling has almost become an extreme sport in London, with most riders wearing helmet cams in order to support any injury or accident claims. The flipside is that as a driver in a rural area, weekends are a nightmare, with our narrow roads causing traffic jams as cars try to pass cycles safely (we have new laws here about safe passing of cycles). I don’t know the answer, but if your basic road infrastructure has room for it, then I think it makes sense for it to be implemented. And – of course – US roads are generally wider than the ones in the UK, so should have more room for cycle tracks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. chattykerry says:

    I loved all the cyclists in the Netherlands but they can be brutal if you get in their way! The Dutch have a very different attitude to their country than most others. It is always at risk from devastating flooding, they have limited land and are willing to spend whatever it takes to make it safe for the citizens. They built an underground rail line in Amsterdam that unsettled the foundations of a street of narrow houses. Once they discovered the problem they completely fixed it, including the antique houses (at great cost).
    Great post!!


    • dfolstad58 says:

      Thanks for sharing about the Netherlands. I only spent one day in Copenhagen when I visited Sweden. I would like to return and learn more. I admire the European approach to transportation and focus on alternatives to building roads for cars.

      Liked by 1 person

    • dfolstad58 says:

      Thank you! I would love to visit there and I know I would be very impressed at their planning and willingness to build people first spaces. I watched a show called Waterfront Cities of the World (a tv series) and one of the episodes was about Copenhagen. It was really excellent. – thank you so much for encouraging me with my blog. I admire your blog and the work you do to make it interesting for your readers. – David

      Liked by 1 person

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