Monday, July 13, 2009

Be careful what you catch

The size of your mesh determines what kind of fish you catch. So if you focus on catching the wrong kind of stuff, then life can be, well less than wonderful.

In a "no name city" in suburban Sydney, Australia, some time during the late 20th century the good civic leaders employed a fishing net in the form of a sign to "catch" dead cats.

The sign, located at one of the public entrances to the council chambers, proclaimed the focus of their attention to be their cat euthanasia service. The sign read: "Instructions. Cat disposal. 1. Take the cat...." All couched in the clinical language of the bureaucracy.

No fancy personal pronouns on this sign. No "she" or "her" or "you" or "your". Just "the cat". No need to remind you of "your" personal attachment to a soon-to-be former member of your family, just in case you reneged on the deal. No works of art or carved letters above a stone archway. No inspiring Latin phrase such as alis volat propris - meaning "she flies with her own wings" etched in bold across a frieze to inspire the community to greater heights. No banner like you find everywhere in Mexico to celebrate the richness of human endeavor. No symbol to catch your attention and invite inquiry. No poetry to speak directly to your soul. No warm or welcoming embrace. No humanity.

Just the technicalities...a bland, ruthless puritanism.

During the City's 200th birthday celebrations, the sign was ceremoniously torn down, to reflect a turning of the tide.

Perhaps you have such signs. If so:

1. What words, symbols, signs, phrases, mottos, slogans do you and your organization exhibit/use/display which are a millstone around your neck or a hawser that ties you to the wharf?
2. What new words/phrases/symbols could you invent, that probably do not yet exist, that could allow you to break the bonds, escape the yoke, spread your wings or celebrate the future you?

No comments:

Post a Comment