Tuesday, January 17, 2006

It's a sign

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Yesterday my mechanic (Lenny) was driving me in his car through Curepe when I noticed this sign. I asked him to stop so I could get a photo of it. When I returned to the car, he was curious as to why I would want to take a picture of a vandalised road sign. It actually hadn't even occurred to me that it had been vandalised, since at the moment I noticed it, all I saw was a message telling me "Go ahead, don't be afraid, you can do it, believe in what you are doing ...". To me, it was confirmation for #3 from the conclusions in yesterday's post.
Lenny chuckled and said "I didn't see it that way." He told me he had seen it as someone defacing a sign (actually a few road signs throughout Curepe) and that the vandal was in fact suggesting that drivers break the law, break the major road, 'go trough hard' and ignore the fact that other cars may be coming.
Inspiration and irresponsibility in one sign.
This led us to speak about perspective ... the fact that we can look at life around us in such different ways. That led us to talk about awareness ... and the fact that we all play a part in helping each other to see things in different ways. This led Lenny to tell me about an interesting nationwide awareness-raising project he has been thinking of initiating. That led me to realise yet again that there are people out there with great intentions for positive transformation ... and the only thing is for Step #1 to occur: Begin.


Anonymous Georgia said...

Funny, but as I saw the photo I thought it was "Go Bravo", as in Dwayne Bravo.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Paz said...

You know me somewhat, so I am probably off topic….goes with my A.D.D. - BUT here’s a perspective - Re: Stop/Go brave – Inspiration – Irresponsibility and the concept of perspective. If every deviation from the normal (in this case normal being the simple legislation to maintain some sense of order) was perceived positively do you think that would be a step towards solving shortcomings? For instance: Two gunmen shoot shop owner leaving a family 8 fatherless. Our usual perspective would be shock and distress over the crime, sprinkled with some anger……….however we can take the positive perspective with a peaceful sigh and smile……. that shop owner was evading taxes for years - so the act of murdering was a favor to the system and it pushes us towards a more ordered society – I feel inspired.
Basically I am suggesting that every act, thought can be perceived positively or negatively. That is the balance of life. However we have to deliberate and choose the perspective that encourages harmony. So, in perceiving the vandalism in this case as a positive message, one could be misleading some impressionable to continue to express themselves through vandalism or some other deviation.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

It was not the vandalism itself I was seeing as positive(thereby 'misleading an impressionable'). It was the message itself that jumped out at me as positive (Go brave) - and that's what I focused on and took the photo of. Lenny saw it as vandalism because he was seeing it from the persepctive of someone who had observed several such signs all around Curepe for a while and found it defacing (which it is, especially when seen en masse). Different perspectives based on two different experiences of the same sign.

Your example of the shopkeeper's murder is hypothetical, but it's not realistic to say that the positive comes about by smiling and sighing and saying that someone did X wrong so their murder is justified.

The crime is not a positive. And being human, the anger, hurt and shock are justified. In a case like that I think any 'positive' would have to be whatever comes out of the situation for purposes of healing and change ... E.g. the community is moved to come together to help the 8 fatherless children (where they never used to help before) ... people begin to realise they should look out for one another and actually start doing it by forming watchgroups, etc ... And perhaps some everyday person would in fact be 'inspired' by the shopkeeper's murder. E.g. Steven Cadiz was 'inspired' by Keith Noel's murder - to do something by raising voices, creating awareness around certain issues, seeking justice and change through his genuine efforts.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Paz said...


It was a curious thought that jumped out.

I've to admit though I would not have seen the message at all. I would have seen scribble because of where the "message" was written and the eventual perception would have been negative.

Wrote more but realized I was straying to issues in tdad...

Anyway...thanks for provoking thought towards peaceful yet effective solutions.

9:15 AM  

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