There are times when you see a problem and report it to those who should be doing something and nothing happens. This can be a discouraging moment; you’ve done the right thing and yet nothing came of it. You acted to no gain. Do you get frustrated? Angry? Demand something be done and badger until it does? Those actions can sometimes garner results but not good will. One man in Kansas City had a different approach. Fed up with the hundreds of potholes that line Kansas City streets and a perceived lack of urgency from the city to fix them, Frank Sereno decided the best way to solve the problem was to celebrate it.
Sereno had reported all of those hundreds of potholes to the public works department and yet nothing had been done about them for months. But rather than get angry and negative he went and decided to throw one of the potholes a three month birthday celebration; complete with cake! “We have to be as creative as we can to get things fixed,” he said. “For me, it’s just about making sure my neighbors’ and my voice are continuously heard.” And sure enough, within days of posting about his celebration on Facebook, the pothole was being fixed. To be fair to the public works department, hundreds of cases reported in 2019 remain open, according to their database. It is a process being worked on which has been slowed by long bouts of spring rain.
Sereno does admit that he hopes he doesn’t have to throw another pothole birthday party and that that isn’t a way that will get everything done. But for this problem, in this moment, it got the attention of those in charge and worked. It was peaceful, it was creative, and it was effective. Those are all qualities of an excellent solution to the question: What do you do when doing the right thing didn’t work?
If you’d like to see more about Frank Sereno and his pothole birthday celebration you can find it in your Good News Story of the Day here. Including whether he sang the pothole the happy birthday song, or not. Then go about thinking of ways you can solve your dilemmas in ways that are peaceful, creative, and effective.
Story and Image from CNN.