Southern Ontario was struck with fifteen centimeters of snow yesterday, and I had the opportunity to struggle through it on my way to attend a fundraiser. I live outside the city of Toronto and it took close to three hours to make the journey.
It is amazing how many death scenarios ran through my mind before I left. They never materialized though, and my brief anxiety was unfounded.
As I approached the heart of the city I saw an electronic MTO message that read, check your tire pressure. It brought a sly smile to my face and I pondered the obscurity of its content. Everyone was tense. We were doing our best to drive with care and caution (some more than others), but what was I to do with this ill timed prompt? Surely, this was a missed opportunity.
On my way home, I decided to take Highway 407, and paid my toll for a little safety and convenience. I encountered another message. This one instructed me to leave some room and not to follow too closely. A much better message that contained advice that I could actually use, but one that is repeated too often. Another missed opportunity.
Where were all the human beings working at the MTO or 407 traffic centres that day? Yesterday would have been the perfect day not to follow the generic guidelines of a typical Sunday, but instead an opportunityto connect with travelers. Would it have been so difficult to put up a message that said we are with you, people love you, and depend on you, drive accordingly. Or something to that effect?
I realize that no sheepish employee would have the courage to risk their financial security and write this message or any other like it. It would have been a bold move that would have required supervisory approval, and this permission would have been either too slow or not come at all. Why try. It is better not to take that risk. Gasp, what if someone complained?
Just follow the company policy. Put up the next slide, grab a smoke break, and life continues to hum at its petty pace, grinding along, one day to the next. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.
I woke up with this little nagging thought on my mind.
How many opportunities do I walk by? How many doors do I fail to open. How many times am I distracted by meaningless tasks and never listen. How often do I stop myself from sharing something meaningful that might actually make a difference in someone's life.
How do I stop living on the surface of existence? I wish to risk my comfort by creating the next opportunity to dive deep, and be brave enough to go off script and post my own sign.