Vanity Plates for Good

Today's post is decidedly a little silly, but worthwhile because it is a simple, everyday reminder of the beauty of our world and the people in it--and isn't that the whole point?(!) 

When I moved to Virginia, the sheer volume of personalized license plates shocked me.  The cheapskate in me thought, "How can all of these people afford to waste money on things like that?!"  Now, a little older and a little wiser, I have come to find out that there are a number of reasons people decide to purchase "vanity" plates--they aren't necessarily a waste-- and sometimes they can even be for good.

First off, it isn't quite as expensive here as I had imagined.  According to the Virginia DMV, the cost in Virginia:

Initial fee $10 (+ registration fee)
Each year thereafter $10

Not so bad.  Definitely worth it to support your favorite cause, team, or college.  Even the words people choose can help to brighten someone's day--if not simply their own--and who couldn't use a little of that?

But I know it is more costly in other places.  For example, I grew up in New York State--where almost everything costs more--and the cost of personalized plates is no exception.

According to the New York DMV, the cost in New York State:

Initial fee $60 (+ registration fee)
Each year thereafter $31.25

In this case, it may be a little bit more difficult to justify the cost, but depending on how important the message is, it just may be worth it.  (This helps to explain, however, why it was less common to see them in NY than here.)

All this is to say that people are expressing themselves through not only what they say, do, and wear, but through their tweets, Facebook updates, blog posts, bumper stickers, and even license plates.  Perhaps personalized plates are simply demonstrating "slacktivism" (the idea of meaninglessly promoting causes, without any true sacrifice/ change/ work) at it's most base level, but perhaps this phenomenon is more than meets the eye.  If you can help promote a positive day or positive idea in your neighborhood/ town/ state, and you can do it without even speaking, but by simply planting a seed for someone else, why not do so?  If it's a positive message, isn't it worth putting out for others to benefit?

Although neither of these plates below are my license plate, I felt it was a great way to show that putting positivity out into the world will only help.  These both made me smile and if you haven't had the opportunity to see them on the road, I wanted to share the love.

Here are two uplifting personalized plates we've seen lately (stickers have been blocked for privacy) ...


In Taylor Mali's poem "Silver-Lined Heart," he says the following (this is an excerpt, click here for the full poem or here for the YouTube version):

I’m for what can be achieved more than for what I would want in an ideal world.
I’m for working every day to make the world a better place
and not complaining about how it isn’t

So don’t waste my time and your curses on verses
about what you are against, despise, and abhor.
Tell me what inspires you, what fulfills and fires you, put your gaddamn pen to paper and tell me what you’re for!

~ ~ ~

Are you a positive influence?

Even when it's Friday and it's been a long week? 

Have you seen any positive plates lately?

Labels: ,