Thursday, April 25, 2024

Opinion: Tribute to a broken dream

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I’ve often wondered about road names.

More specifically, I’ve often wondered how to get my name on a road name, and the magnificent depth of significance my life would hold thereafter.

If that’s a milestone you’ve never considered achieving, you’ll probably need to take a moment to excuse my unreserved selfishness on the matter, because I’m not sorry.

If there was a career to be made out of road naming, I’d have quit the journalism business long ago.

And I wish I could tell you today I still hold out some kind of hope for that dream, but at the ripe old age of 19, I threw away any notion of ticking that one off the bucket list.

That was until May 15.

It was a normal Monday. I turned up to work, interviewed, wrote, and drank more than my fair share of coffee.

But later that evening, as I sat in the Howick Local Board meeting surrounded by our elected councillors and community leaders, I was forced to re-consider my naive presumptions regarding the immense significance insignificance of road naming.

As one board member kindly pointed out, “this isn’t gonna change the world”.

And while 23-year-old me couldn’t agree more with that sentiment, let’s be real. Neither will avocados, but they’re filling headlines more often than not these days, so I’ve decided we’re going to talk about this too.

If you’ve ever sat through one of these discussions, you’ll know it’s an arduous, emotional experience, filled to the brim with reality checks, had-to-be-there moments, and reasoning of the highest standard.

So to finish this remarkably insignificant rant, I’d like to share with you the foundational life lessons that have formed my new campaign ‘Get Better Road Names’, straight from the quotes reel of May 15, 2017 in the hopes that you too will be inspired to speak out about the matters that matter the most.

“I like it better.” Feelings trump facts.

“I think it should be a way – because of the way it splits up.” Personality trumps looks.

Collective drumroll, please, for my personal favourite. Vague trumps specific.

“Is a way a way to something?”

Now that’s a question I’d like answers to.

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