Bumper Stickers


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.

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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?


9 thoughts on “Bumper Stickers

  1. danrothermel says:

    You have another wise friend. “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.””

    As for “Do Small Things with Great Love,” I live with a woman who lives that every day. I’ve got to find it for her car.

    My bumper stickers? “Angel’s Landing” and another “Death Valley.” They are there to begin a conversation sometime down the road.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kim Yaris says:

    First of all, the title of your post brought me to your blog! I was so curious to know what you were thinking about bumper stickers. I love the idea of not having to “be” the bumper sticker–thinking about it as a sort of affirmation or aspiration is a great idea. While I don’t have any bumper stickers on my car, I have a sticker on my computer and I LOVE it and I look at it and I think about it every day when I sit down to work. It says, “Seek your summit.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dianeandlynne says:

    Love the advice: You don’t have to BE your bumper sticker! “Speak your mind even if your voice shakes” is a bumper sticker I would like to attach to my car. Thought provoking post. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. vanessaw2007 says:

    Bumper stickers can be obnoxious but I love the positive ones, short and sweet reminders.I have one but it sits next to my mirror instead of my car. It says “Not all who wander are lost.” Fun topic and great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amy says:

    Such a fun post that reflects a glimmer of you. I adore Mother Teresa’s “Do Small Things with Great Love.” It’s timeless and you can’t go wrong with such a gentle and caring message.
    When I am stopped at a traffic light I always reading the bumper stickers or personalized license plates of the car in front of me. It gives me a sneak peek into the life of the person in front of me. As for us, we are magnet people so on our cars you can find 13.1, 26.2, 70.3, 140.7, and DCL. We switch them up from time to time or when we lose one in the car wash!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. terierrol says:

    You wrote a great post about bumper stickers. I love reading them – have none of my own. But heeding the advice “-You don’t have to be your bumper sticker”- maybe I’ll look for one now. The saying in my classroom is “Learn to read. Read to learn.”


  7. lisaorchard1 says:

    Great post! I love reading bumper stickers when I’m stuck in traffic. Some of them are laugh out loud hilarious, and some of them are kind of scary! I like the ones you’ve chosen for this post!


  8. Adrienne says:

    I have a few but aspire to more. Like the other commenters, “Molly, you don’t have to “be” your bumper sticker! It can be something you aspire to or simply admire.” stood out for me, too. I might add some more to my car in the future.


  9. Linda Baie says:

    There was a conflict at my school a few years ago about someone’s bumper sticker, “anti” something or other, and many were offended. It was interesting to me that those words ignited such a furor. I like your friend’s advice, and think that if you want to show your aspirations, or inspire others, it’s a good thing. Interesting that there were so few in Europe.


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