I traveled with my family this summer and spent a fair amount of time on the roads in France and Italy. We noticed several differences, but chief amongst them was that there were almost no bumper stickers. This made us wonder if other cultures embrace bumper stickers or if it’s an American thing to loudly proclaim our opinions to the world. (If we can’t do that because we’re shut in a car, we’ll emblazon it on the bumper!)
I love the bumper sticker “Well-behaved Women Rarely Make History” and long ago I wanted to put it on my van. But I hesitated. I felt like a fraud because essentially, I am a well-behaved woman. It felt like false advertising. When I mentioned this to a friend, she said, patiently, “Molly, you don’t have to “be” your bumper sticker! It can be something you aspire to or simply admire.”
Duh! So, I smacked that bumper sticker right on my van and never regretted it.
With a new perspective on bumper stickers, I added another one. Again something I strove for continually. I figured I could use the reminder and since I spent so much time in my van, why not put it there?
And then I chose one more, because when my emotions are high, I have a hard time communicating. If my voice is shaking, I’m probably not speaking. I’d like to change that.
These bumper stickers didn’t reflect who I was. Instead, they reflected who I wanted to be. Every time I read them,they reminded me. They became traveling mantras, reminders of personal goals.
I have had one bumper sticker that did not fit this pattern. This one was on another vehicle and documented an achievement and a philosophy rather than an aspiration. Simple and to the point.
Currently, I have no bumper stickers on my car. As I finish writing this, I’m thinking I may start adding them. A quick google search reveals endless promising options ( and some horrifying ones as well.) I’m considering this one at the moment:
Do you have a bumper sticker? Does it reflect who you are or who you want to be or something else entirely?