I once read a street sign that said something like: “Potholes? We don’t know about it unless you tell us.”
Basically, we could be bumping around in a pothole everyday on the way to work, cursing that darned hole and the city, too. We are grumbling and thinking, “Why don’t they fix this thing??”
Well, they probably don’t even know it exists.
I live right next to a new small community park. I feel a lot of pride and ownership with this park…even though i had nothing to do with it bring built. But, our window overlooks the park, and I watched the progress from the beginning.
Soon after opening, the lights never turned on at night. Every night I would check, and…nothing. It bothered me.
It finally bothered me enough to do something about it. After all, maybe they just had no idea. I called the Parks Department who informed me that it is an unstaffed park, which means it closes at sunset like all other unstaffed city parks. To which I replied, “Well, they installed at least 20 lights in this place. I imagine they are supposed to turn on.” (I hope it came off more politely than that.)
With that, she passed me on to Sally, the person that handles work orders for the park. And guess what? Lights at night!
Just in case, I programmed Sally’s number into my phone. Glad I did.
Locks on the playground broken? For a long time…maybe a month. Then I call Sally. Fixed!
The park’s giant Christmas tree falls over on the middle of the night? “Oh, Sally!” Three trucks arrived within a couple of hours.
Today I left a message for Sally again. In the playground, there is a small gap between two fences behind a bunch of plants. Of course, the kids have discovered it and have started escaping. The moms and nannies are complaining about it daily. “They need to fix that. It’s dangerous.”
But of course, it will never, ever, happen if we don’t tell them. It’s basically invisible.
I’m not sure what they’ll be able to do, or if a fix is evenplausible. But, I always think back to that pothole sign and get inspired to “do something.”
I try hard not to complain about things, but to try to be a part of the solution. And if you know me, you know that I’m a big believer that everyone can make a difference in the world. So go on, call Sally.
Photo credit: Flickr, dno1967b