A Weekend Tale of Shared-Mobility & Shared-Space: ___________BODHISATTVA IN THE METRO________

The Sanskrit term Bodhisattva  is the name given to anyone who, motivated by great compassion and wisdom, has generated bodhichitta, a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. What makes someone a Bodhisattva is her or his spontaneous and limitless dedication to the ultimate welfare of others.

(May we suggest that you view this at least two times? Get comfortable.)

It’s not the destination, it’s the voyage.  It’s the way in which this public space is suddenly shared.  Happily shared.

Merci Christine.

Paris, Sunday, 29 March 2010

PS. OK, but what is it supposed to mean?

I was afraid I might be asked this question, and indeed I have on several occasions in the last day as I shared this update with some old friends of word Streets. So with all due respect let me give this a stab, although I really do hesitate because in a way I see this as a possible intrusion on your own interpretation, which of course is the only one that counts.

Essentially I had three somewhat contradictory  thoughts lurking at the back of my mind in wanting to share this short film with you.  None of them being ha-ha jovial.

The first is that I see it as pure Zen — by which in this case I mean it means what you want it to mean. If you have the patience for it !  the little story is well done, it is about life, and it is oh so gently about people. So to me, even as a World Streets guy, the fact that it takes place in a nineteenth century  urban transport mode is not at all the main point. But to each of us, her/his own.

The second idea was to see if this might serve for some as a quiet, close to subliminal, call to encourage us all to get comfortable with different thinking about our mission, and more generally that of planners and policy makers when faced with the challenges that World/Streets among many others attempts to address. I hope I am hurting no one’s feelings greatly when I make the point that much of the work that is planned and executed in our sector all too often combines high technical virtuosity, or at least talent, with a bit too narrow vision as to what cities are all about. Too much attention given to infrastructure, and not enough to people. (Did that come across for you?)

Finally, I wanted to see if this might reinforce one of our fundamental precepts here at World/Streets, which is that we need to give more attention to happiness as a goal of our work and choices. As a reformed economist I certainly do not want to surrender all of the terrain of happiness vs. your favorite indicator to Amartya Sen and Joe Stiglitz (as per their exemplary contribution via the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress). They have helped to blaze this path, but we now need to take it further in our own corner of work.

More happiness in transport, more happiness in cities. Tell me that this is not a noble goal?

Eric Britton
Editor, World/Streets

PS. And oh yes, tell us what you think this is all about. That’s what the Comments section just below is for. Or alternatively you might wish to share on our World Streets FB site at   https://www.facebook.com/ShareMobilitySpace/

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Credits:
The scenarist and director of “Merci” is Christine Rabette (she is the one seated and reading the book). Produced by Patrick Quinet and Artémis Productions, Belgium – www.artemisproductions.com With the support of the Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Communauté française (CCA), Belgium — //www.audiovisuel.cfwb.be/

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About the editor:

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, mediator and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: climate@ecoplan.org) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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