Usually I am a model of good nature, at least in my public persona as portrayed on these pages, and I should be in a party mood with the upcoming Canada Day celebrations this week, but frankly I am ticked. It stems from what I see as an attitude of condescension in organizations who want to tell us what to do as if they know better, and who often communicate these messages using our own money.
Case in point- the signs along our rural lines telling us to Share the Road. They are paid for by Peterborough County’s Active Transportation group. Don’t get me wrong- their objectives are noble and worthy, but honestly, do they really think that anyone who doesn’t believe they should exercise caution around cyclists and pedestrians will be the least bit influenced by this sign? They probably blow by it without even seeing it. Your tax dollars at work.
If you want to influence the public, don’t assume we are morons- address us with respect. Use as few words as possible and make your case clear and compelling. We are a nation of polite, considerate people who want to make our contribution to the world, at least most of the time. Assuming otherwise may create unintended consequences. Let’s follow Dorothy Nolte’s philosophy about children learning what they live, and model respect, appreciation and kindness. We don’t need a bureaucrat to teach us that lesson. Happy Canada Day. KG