The Designs of Humanity

Sometimes I think about who we are.

Sirens

In a city we’re surrounded by noise. This noise comes from construction, neighbors, and advertisements, but mostly from the roads. One of the most distinguishable and recognizable sounds in the city is the sound of a police siren.

Police sirens tell us something upon blaring throughout the streets—somewhere, something’s gone wrong. We get used to the noise, and figure that with a city so large, it only makes sense that bad things happen on a fairly regular basis.

But the sirens also mean something else. When something goes wrong, a solution doesn’t usually present itself. Instead we have developed a system that tells us not only that something’s gone wrong, but that someone is going to take care of it. Since we know that this meaning is also attached, we tolerate the obnoxious sound the siren makes, and we even pull our vehicles over to the side of the road, paying homage to the system.

The question I pose is this: for what occasion do you make noise? Are you more inclined to speak up when something’s gone wrong, or when you want to be part of the solution?

Filed under: communication, helping, hurting, noise, signals, silence