Today was a special day. I was taking a stroll with my husband down the Street, when we saw a man with an artist’s masking tape in his hand, standing in front of a cement wall. He taught me an important lesson: If the wall is vandalized and you live near by, do something about it!
I have always had thoughts about this blank cement wall in our neighborhood. I wanted to turn it into a mural, but I thought I needed permission from the Municipality to do so. Today, my husband and I were walking by this grey cement wall when we saw this man holding an artist’s tape; he was standing by another man who was painting the wall.
The first man seemed to be in charge, and he looked like he “masked” all the spots that had ugly graffiti, and brought in this painter to paint over the vandalized areas of the wall. They used a similar grey color. So I approached the man, thinking he was from the Municipality – to offer my mural idea.
It turned out that this man was a regular person, like you and me, and he happened to have a shop nearby; he simply didn’t like the randomness and ugliness of the graffiti, so he decided to take action.
– Hello, are you from the Municipality?
– No, I have a shop here
– But you’re painting the [public] cement wall… why didn’t you tell the Municipality to paint it for you?
– We can’t just go calling the Municipality every time we needed something, plus it will cost them money…
– Wow, this is fantastic! So you’re doing this out of your own accord!
– Yes, I have a shop here and I don’t like the way this is messing up the area’s look, so we’re just painting over the random graffiti
– We wish you all the best, really… great job!
We moved on, and honestly, I can tell you after all these years in this part of the world, this is the first time in my life that I actually see someone taking positive action in a public area out of their own accord. And not complaining.
We always talk about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), but what about Personal Social Responsibility (PSR)? Our world will be a much better place if – in stead of whining and nagging – we find solutions, and helped in as much as we can.
I am truly inspired by this man, and I want to be like him… maybe I’ll bring a bucket or two and create that mural after all!