Bumper Sticker Shock
I'm sure we all have our favorite bumper stickers. (No doubt as you read this specific examples come to mind.) I could devote an entire article to any one of a variety of bumper stickers that I've eyed over the years.
Today, however, there's a particular one that I have in mind. Perhaps you've seen it yourselves: "You are not what you drive."
At first glance, I can understand that the writer is probably trying to evoke a relatively broad and philosophical reaction from the reader; surely he's attempting to highlight a relationship between material possessions and the perception that people have of themselves. I can appreciate that.
I suppose you could interpret the writer in a number of different ways. Perhaps he means the phrase to be cautionary (i.e., we shouldn't base our self-image on the public's perception of our possessions). Perhaps it's more reactionary to the world around him (i.e., we do base our self image on our possessions but shouldn't).
Of the various thoughts that this statement evokes, the one that I offer up for discussion is this: perhaps we aren't what we "drive" but, instead, we drive what we are.
Although it's not a universal truth, you don't tend to see women driving lifted pick-up trucks. In a similar vein, albeit a different possession, you're not likely to find a man shopping for purses/handbags to add to his collection, regardless of the utility they might potentially provide.
I could give more examples, but I'm sure I've stirred things up enough by now.
Let's see what you all think!
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