What can I say? I'm an idealist. Too often in life we witness great transgressions and instead of standing up and saying 'That's not right,' we simply continue on our way.
After all, what can one person do?
Well, I'll tell you what one person can do. One person CAN make a difference. I learned that firsthand right here in Madison.
My friends and I had been out to get an early breakfast three weeks ago before we started our busy day. We'd headed to Mickie's Dairy Bar only to find out that they don't open on Mondays. Undaunted, we headed to Greenbush Bakery for fresh Monday morning doughnuts. They were also closed. Now, slightly daunted, we made our way to Muddy Waters, which was open, and finally had our breakfast.
I had a muffin and some lemonade, but that's not what this story is about.
On our way back home, my friends and I fell into a discussion about some of the travesties and injustices that occur here on campus. We were in agreement that many people here on campus need to change the way they live their lives, but were unsure how to go about making a change.
Then we saw it.
A yellow bike.
For those of you who don't know how the Yellow Bike program works, it goes something like this. There are these yellow bikes in the downtown area. They are provided for everyone with the thought that if you need to bike somewhere, you can use one of these free yellow bikes to get where you need to go, then leave the bike for someone else to use. Unfortunately, this most often is NOT the case, as many people who find a yellow bike keep it for themselves.
This yellow bike in question lay on the grass next to Camp Randall like a crippled bird with a bike lock through its front tire. Now it would have been very easy for us to just say, 'Oh, isn't that a shame' and continue on our way. After all, we were not yellow bikes, so what was the plight of the yellow bike to us? But then one of my friends reminded us of the words of a famous philosopher:
'Finders keepers, losers weepers.'
So today we decided to take a stand, not only for ourselves, but for everyone who is sick of seeing a free yellow bike shackled to a bike rack on Langdon Street.
I, along with my fellow resistance fighters, nabbed the bike and walked it back to my place. The plan was then concocted to free the bike from its binding chain and release it once more into the Madison community.
Since that time, I've had many visitors who have given me a multitude of feedback.
'Hey Matt, isn't that one of those yellow bikes that you can rent on campus'? they usually ask.
'No this is one of the free yellow bikes' I answer, full of pride.
'I think it's the RED ones that are free.'
So, um, if anyone happened to lose a yellow bike over by Camp Randall three weeks ago, I might know something about that.