The topic of women’s right to vote bothers me, and not for the reason you’d think. Switzerland had a referendum on the subject in 1971 and since then women could vote in some parts of it. About the last country in Europe to go through with this, but it differs as the cantons have quite a bit of independence. Canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden (AI) was directed to allow women to vote by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland in 1991.
The concept seems right looking from the distance, but it’s not so obvious when you think about it.
Women are sharp as hell, and I have one at home who gives me the run of my life, but the original idea was to have one political vote per family - not to stop women from having their voices heard.
The husband and the wife would sit down and figure out what they want in an election.
Having them vote separately just divides the family, it’s nonsense and it makes our societies weaker, also allows voting by the gut feel, not by the merit, as there is no meaningful analysis what’s best for the family.
It’s not a great idea, but it looks good on paper.
Fast forward to the real time, the summertime, I was riding through the forests the other day thinking about a quote from Charles Bukowski, a German-American writer.
He said “find what you love and let it kill you”, and I think this is about the best life advice I heard. And I found what I love – you are reading it now, maybe you read my book too.
And I always preferred artists over scientists.
The difference is that a scientist says a simple thing in a hard way, and an artist says a hard thing in a simple way.
So, on a beautiful weekend I rode between the lakes, seven hours on the Yamaha and I was exhausted. At some point the bike was flashing low gas light for a long while and I was sweating bullets going through the wilderness.
Finally I found a gas station in a small town, got a drink and nice sandwich there to recover.
“Everything all right?” Said the lady.
“No, but thanks for asking.”
“How far are you from home?”
“About two tanks of gas.”
She must have seen something in my face and said: “you know, if you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you still have a soul left to lose.”
“I am with you.”
“I was going really fast because my bike was running out of gas.”
“That’s not how it works,” she laughed.
“I am a risk taker.”
“We’re here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us. “ She said giving me the credit card back.
Back home my wife said that I am mad going that fast and far and for too long and she may be right, but I won’t change, too late for that.
Every time her arguments corner me and I don’t have a good answer, I think, “you're better off alone, you're better off than me, but every time I'm gone I'm everything you need.”
Must be living right or something.
*Credits to Dorothy Parker and Charles B. for some of the words above.
Tom Kubiak is the author of The Traveler