These days, certainly in Ottawa and I suspect in many other major urban centres, there is increasing attention being paid to what are termed ‘traffic calming measures’. This expression is essentially a euphemism for reducing traffic speed. It is especially relevant given budgetary challenges for continuing to have police officers do roadside enforcement. Presumably not enough is made up in fines to cover the marginal utility costs of having officers lurking and checking.
While benefits from the introduction of such measures in my neighbourhood has so far been questionable, if not negligible, it does bring up the idea of applying this concept to wider spheres. I would suggest an excellent place to start would be mind-sets.
First of all, there is obviously a connection between actions and attitudes: it stands to reason there is a likely link between one’s mental bearing, and how aggressively one drives, at least insofar as speeding.
It should be said the aggressive driving approach might have some defence, such as avoiding being late for important appointments; even there, the use of the term ‘aggressive’ may be pejorative, as we’re really referring to a little excessive driving speed, in many cases. There are many drivers who can handle this safely, especially if for short bursts, without their personalities turning slightly maniacal.
Let’s consider how traffic calming measures currently being used could be adapted to a larger mental outlook, to a more accepting state of being:
– While flex sticks in the middle of roads may hazardous themselves, the combination of yellow on black is a very natty one, used by a number of sports teams; thus, whenever it seems like one is going to be in the middle of something such as counselling married couples who are sports fans, wear yellow and black
– Flashing light speed signs have a certain degree of glitz in their appearance, which makes them eye-catching; on clothing such flash could be an attention-getting device for networking, especially if one has a less forceful personality; some glitz overall adds a little halo to one’s appearance, and likely one’s mood is enhanced
– Where speed bumps are inserted, often several in proximity, the driver really has to adjust and slow down, like it or not; walking around with bumpy things in our pockets can help act as a physical mantra to slow our psyche down, to stop and enjoy our senses
– An island insertion for road narrowing has a certain elegance of appearance, but a strong dose of interference (given that it permanently narrows the roadway); view encountering a resized version of some object or space as an excuse to re-evaluate, and perhaps reposition, our thinking, so we are prepared to adapt with humility and peace