Car Stories: Remote Keys

“An escalator can never break; it can only become stairs. You should never see an ‘Escalator Temporarily Out of Order’ sign; just ‘Escalator Temporarily Stairs. Sorry for the convenience.'”
–Mitch Hedberg, American comedian

I have to be honest. Although my face didn’t show it, I was a little more than annoyed when I got my new set of car keys from the car dealer. For those who don’t know, I got into a car accident 4 months ago and had to get a new vehicle. The car keys from my previous vehicle had remotes on them which allowed me to lock/unlock the car doors at the press of a button. I always thought it came standard nowadays. The new keys I got were visibly missing that particular feature (I’m guessing because I opted out of a security upgrade that I didn’t need). In either case, I was a little surprised when the smiling salesman handed me the new set of keys. Prior to that, I don’t ever recall manually inserting a car key into a car keyhole. Ever.

I was a bit annoyed because I was thinking about how inconvenient it would be. I would have to manually insert the car key to unlock the car doors. Imagine the wasted time. Imagine the inconvenience. And that’s what I wasn’t happy about. But I eventually realized that at the end of the day, it only posed as a small inconvenience to my life. That was all. It was something that I could learn to live without. And I learned to do so quickly. In fact, I don’t think twice anymore about unlocking my car that way. It has just become a regular part of me.

The incident reminded me of how accustomed we are to convenience, convenience, and more convenience. We’re saturated in it. So much so that we’re not used to minor inconveniences in life anymore. So when something like this happens, we get really annoyed. But we often forget that we can actually live with these inconveniences especially in light of the bigger conveniences that we possess. With this incident, I quickly forgot how convenient a car is in the first place—the ability to get from one place to another quickly and at convenient times. And that’s far more important than some convenient feature for unlocking doors.

And so, at worst, not having remote keys simply pose as a minor inconvenience to life. At best, it’s a great daily reminder not to be bogged down by such things. We can and should learn to live with minor inconveniences in life.