Saturday, August 1, 2009

the Ultimate ripple

during our lives, each one of us has caused innumerable "ripple effects" via thoughts, words and deeds that have (in fact) payed themselves forward and touched people/places/things that we never could have imagined.

my brother (steve) had an idea the other day, which i Truly believe could develop into an Ultimate ripple. ..i've shared steve's idea with my sisters (donna & clare & jean), and they are energized.

steve and i were discussing the challenges associated with something that i'm sure you've experienced:
trying to explain to a potential driver that
s/he "need not be driving" in her/his current condition.

steve & i agreed that (between each other) a "secret code" could be used... one that could be communicated from a loved-one to the potential driver (in a non-confrontational manner). ..our steve-clare-donna-jean brainstorm birthed this:

1. one-on-one (discreet) communication -- which could be the most important step

2. prior to things getting out of hand (i.o.w. before the potential driver had "one too many")

3. the message would be loving, rather than condemning (e.g. "i Love you," rather than "you should")

4. we thought that it might be appropriate to use a picture of kids, since an impaired driver could potentially endanger children who have little/no choice in the matter. addition, a picture of a driver's own loved-ones might help to kick-in a sense of instinctive, loving, protective awareness.

5. we are working with the slogan "I Love You, and I'm not comfortable with you driving under these conditions."

in our crazy martineau image-i-nations, we envisioned situations where parents, brothers/sisters, friends and even children would be able to present a potential driver with "the card," which would be a picture of kids with our slogan (examples below):

I Love You, and
I'm not comfortable with you driving under these conditions.

* left: a draft of one of clare's cards
* ..............more to follow...

we are currently working on a way to provide "the card" with the picture of your choice via an easy-to-use format from this website. sister clare coined the term:

"now i get the picture"

1. you log on,
2. you upload a pic,
3. you download your cards, free!
(we'll need some webmaster help with this)

we aren't (excessively) insane, and we don't expect to solve all of the world's problems. ..what we'd like to do is to (discretely, gently) provide a potential driver with the opportunity to become more aware, long prior to the point of endangering others via driving.

this idea targets excessive alcohol consumption, of course, but it may also apply to fatigue, night driving, stress, long drives, inclement weather, etc.

your life (and the lives of your loved ones) may already have been saved by someone who you'll never meet, because they took positive actions that prevented a potentially dangerous driving situation.'ll never know it, because that impaired driver never crossed your path.

all we want to do (in the name of wellness, family/friends, and Love) is to make it easy for someone else to take preventative action. ..we envision a ripple effect of biblical proportions, but even if we prevent just one accident, we'll feel happy. ..heck, we're happy already.

imagine a 10-year old kid, who (so far in his/her life) has never had a say in the matter, being able to go online and download his/her "card." ..imagine if s/he were able to take daddy/mommy aside, and present the card (discreetly) in a loving manner.

..would it make you think twice?
(i, for one, would)
getting "carded" might take on a whole, new meaning...

your thoughts?

ps: again, this isn't the save-all, make-all, be-all solution to a very complex problem. is meant to facilitate loving, preventative communication as an early warning signal in order to get the potential driver to become more aware. ..we might still have to resort to plan b, c, d, and e if the card fails to have the desired effect.

in fact, we are already thinking about a more systematic approach to this issue.

how important is this project? ..i'm beginning to feel as if could be the most important undertaking of my entire lifetime.

more to follow:
note: in an attempt to write up a one-page grant proposal, the following two page proposal was drafted, as follows:

99 july... i get the picture grant proposal (2009).doc

* ps: many, many, many thanks to steve martineau, clare dunn, donna amaral, jean montgomery, and others who have contributed ideas to this project. ..we are not perfect, and we ourselves may find ourselves "carded" one day, and we are willing to join with you on a journey...

-the beginning



  1. With alcohol, the judgement center of the brain is the first to go, hence the uninhibited behaviour of drunks, and the propensity to go against one's moral code. Past a certain point, hiding the keys is the only solution. Just ask them in Al Anon, where they detach with love, then kosh them from behind!

  2. Ah, No One, ye of quick wit :)

    Of course, this idea emphasizes gentle, loving communication.

    From a wellness/prevention standpoint, an intervention would be more likely prior to any "drunk" phase, and our focus is not going to be on the "kosh" method of behavior change :)

    Just thinking about all of this had made me more aware, prior to attending a pool party this afternoon.

    I'll report back (of course) and update you on the thoughts/ideas of others. So far, lots of positive feedback :)

    Smiles, Lenny