OK gang. I've been thinking about this for a while now, and thought I'd pitch it to the masses to see if it holds up.
This was inspired by a particularly stubborn e-mail hoax that hits my inbox every year around this time, usually forwarded on by several folks who want to do some good in the world, bless their hearts, but are a little misdirected about doing it.
I'm talking about the so-called "National Gas-Out Day"
meme, which urges everyone to refrain from buying gas on one day, May 15, in an effort to somehow upend the entire petroleum economy and free our world forever from the evils of burning fossil fuels.
For those to whom this sounds like a good, workable idea (and there are a LOT of people who fit this description), the fatal flaw in this logic is that the plan doesn't urge using
less gas, just buying it on a different day
. As such, even if everyone did it, the spike in additional purchasing in the days before or after May 15 will just offset the drop on the specific day. In other words, it don't work
Alternative solutions, which would use
less gas, include the standards: carpool, public transportation, biking/walking, etc.; but unfortunately these just aren't as sexy or cool as the idea of toppling the entire gasoline industry in one swell foop.
But I digress.
My plan is to reclaim May 15 from this silliness and make it a Day of THINKING
Let's use the Gas-Out Day meme as an example. You get these things in your inbox, usually from your niece or your uncle or your parents' friends or whoever, you see them on your MySpace bulletin board, your Facebook wall, etc. Maybe you've sent/posted them yourself. And that's fine, people do it out of a sense of helpfulness and assistance.
But here's what I propose: next time you receive one, or think about passing it on to someone else, take a minute and THINK
. That's the key, whether you choose to do it on May 15 (like just for starters), or any day. Think about what's in it. Just think. Reflect on it. Could be Gas-Out Day. Could be the jury duty scam. Could be #-9-0. Could be any number of things. Just think about what's being said, and if it makes sense. If you think it makes sense, think about why.
And then after you think about it, think about it again. Maybe check Snopes
or Straight Dope
, watch some MythBusters
... just do some research. If you do this and still think it's legit, then pass it on.
If we all do this, then we might see a drop in these misguided and self-perpetuating e-mail forwards. We might also be able to focus on solutions that make sense when we get all the goofy stuff out of the way. At the very least, thinking will ... well, make us think. And there is nothing bad about that.
May 15: International THINK Day. Think. Celebrate thinking.