Friday, July 6, 2012

What does your car say about your values?

            For the last two months or so, my children and I have been conducting a sort of survey, a very informal survey, about the values of those around us.  

It all started at a red light.  We sat there waiting for the light to turn green and looking around and we noticed, on a car ahead of us, a “choose life” license plate.  Now, in Florida you have your choice of the “normal” state license plate featuring an orange branch or one of about 165 different designs, each supporting a different cause.  We chose the “choose life” plate, which promotes and supports pro-life values and organizations, for each of our cars.   So have many of our friends.  

So many of our friends have "choose life" license plates that whenever we happen to see a car with one, my children assume it is a friend of ours.  They inevitably start straining their little necks trying to get a good look at the car’s inhabitants.  

         So while my children tried to figure out which of our friends was headed in the same direction as us on that particular day, I noticed another car that happened to catch my eye.  That second car had a big bumper sticker proclaiming the superiority of the owner's dog.  I sat there looking at the two cars and thinking about the values of those around me in our community.  

I couldn’t help but remember that a year ago a local (city run) community center closed citing a lack of funds to keep it open.  At that exact same time, a few miles away, the city was working diligently with big back hoes and bull dozers to clear out space for and then to build a dog park.  I found it interesting that there was money for the dog park but not for the community center.  

So sitting there at that red light two months ago, I proposed an idea to my children.  I suggested we keep a little log of the cars we see.  For every pro-life license plate or bumper sticker we added a tally mark to one side of a piece of paper.  For every “spay/neuter” license plate or dog or cat bumper sticker we added a tally mark to the other side.  

            At first, the pro-life side was doing well, winning in fact.  My children were quick to point out that most of those tally marks came from cars found in the church parking lot, and had we not frequented so many Catholic churches, we might not have such luck but still, it gave me hope.   

Then, as we drove around town more keeping busy with our summer plans, the pet tallies seemed to grow faster and faster.   Soon, the pet tallies matched the pro-life tallies.  They were neck and neck, just one more “dog” car would put the pet side over….

Feeling disheartened about the whole thing, I figured I could pretty much officially declare-- there is a greater respect for and appreciation of dogs and cats than there is for the lives of unborn children.

This morning though—the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic home school conference came to Tampa.  As we pulled into the parking lot excited to go check out the amazing selection of Catholic home school books, we were surrounded by pro-life license plates and bumper stickers galore!  It seemed every other car in the parking lot proclaimed the sanctity of life.  25 more tally marks for the pro-life side, at least!

My hope is renewed.  The parking lot was a great sign.  Inside the hall, it was even better.  Mothers with babies, families perusing the tables together, dads picking out Catholic curricula, a holy priest up front speaking about the importance of family prayer— I knew I was in the presence of a hall full of like-minded, strong Catholics.  It was beautiful.
So, what is the result of our survey of values?

Unfortunately out in the world, pro-lifers are clearly in the minority. But, we are not alone.  There are others who value unborn life and when we get together- beautiful things happen!  And, of course, we have our Church, Our Blessed Mother, and Our Lord on our side too….. 


  1. add another one to the pro-life tally !! But we don't have pro life licence plates in our state. I do have a bumper sticker on my car by Blessed Mother Teresa that says how can we say there are too many children? That's like saying there are too many flowers. ;)

  2. I LOVE that quote of Mother Teresa's! And, we will definitely count you on the pro-life side :)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...