‘Love Locks’


A “love lock” placed on a bridge  above Highway 17 in Los Gatos. (CBS)
A “love lock” placed on a bridge above Highway 17 in Los Gatos.  (CBS)

LOS GATOS (CBS SF) — Los Gatos Museum Offers Space for Love Locks Amid City Crackdown, February 1, 2013 12:03 AM

Couples in danger of losing their “love locks” on a bridge in Los Gatos have been invited to move them to a fence at a nearby art museum for display on Valentine’s Day, a city manager said Wednesday.   More from CBS5 article: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2013/02/01/los-gatos-museum-offers-space-for-love-locks-amid-city-crackdown/

R is for Risk RISK
What if taking chances were so well rewarded…
that everyone took them?

The other day I was returning to my car after finishing a walk up one of our trails. Standing on the sidewalk of the freeway overpass were I was parked were two men, one with a camera and the other with a microphone. The camera man had his lens focused tight against something on the wire fence. This drew my attention to something I had not noticed before, a bunch of little padlocks, of all shapes and sizes, locked to the metal. The man with the microphone turned out to be our local reporter Kiet Do (btw, good video piece you did on it Kiet. Congrats!) who was there to do a story on the ‘controversy’. Controversy!? Well, yes. It seems,a local couple began carrying on an event, started in France, putting up ‘love locks’ on a fence as a keepsake, usually with an endearing, personal message engraved on the lock. Our local couple did it to commemorate their marriage. Once started, others followed, though not a lot yet. I guess there were maybe twenty or thirty locks on the entire bridge.

The controversy came into play when “The Town” or CalTrans or both, I not sure which yet, became worried that if too many locks were put up, their weight would cause the fence to fall over on to the freeway below. Now the possibility of this happening seems remote to me. First of all it would take many, many, many, many, many…locks for this to happen, if at all.

The second issue, as explained to me by the reporter, centered around what people would say on the locks. Since you needed a magnifying glass to read most of them I didn’t see the problem. Essentially, he said that someone thought perhaps someone could put up many locks with one letter on each that spelled out something that perhaps someone might not like if they would be more visible. If perhaps this did happen and then if someone wanted to take them down, then the Town/CalTrans would perhaps run into a freedom of speech issue. The perhaps and ifs are mine, but you get the point. Oh the insanity of it all.

Needless to say, the naysayers prevailed and the locks will be moved to a less trafficked place at our museum. I hope they benefit from all this as it seems no one else will. Here were local people attempting to do a small, tiny, good thing and they couldn’t even do that anymore. Let’s put on our sanity hat and apply our brains to what else might be other, reasonable thoughts on this issue.

One, how many locks would it take until they reached the danger point? I can’t calculate that, but maybe someone could. Even with assumed variables like an average size of the locks, that’s a lot of locks. Two, how long would it take to reach the breaking point? Perhaps this idea would go away before the number became too great. Three, what is required to reinforce the fence, if this would ever be needed? Or, omg, do it now. If the cost is ‘too’ great, fund raise with the small local merchants that might benefit from more traffic in that part of town. Four, could people self-manage the weight issue? Put up signs asking them to limit the number of locks on each section. They could be spread all along the full length of the bridge and across the street on the other side too. That’s a lot of space over a long expanse for love.

So maybe a few people wouldn’t cooperate, but the majority of people would. You don’t know they wouldn’t, neither does the town and nor do I. It’s a variation on the Schrodinger’s Cat exercise. We don’t know what will happen until we look in the box and find out. We don’t know if people will choose the menacing route or the let’s act responsibly and support the good thing that all can share way. But unlike the cat in the box, which has an already determined outcome, one way or the other which we just don’t know until we look inside, this is different. In this instance we have a choice to influence, and keep on influencing, the outcome while the cat is still alive in the box.

Way too often, and seemingly more and more, we choose to kill joy in favor of pretend safety based on ungrounded, unfounded or undefined fear, fear for fear’s sake. For good to exist, active choices in that direction need to be made. At least as active as, as equal to, the amount of energy put into enforcing the negative. If we do so, just imagine what the options and outcomes will be. What if we increase the energy toward good to more than we expend on the negative? Or just increase the number and allow lots of little good ideas, like this was, to happen and add up? Then how great might the outcome be? We need to hit the reset button on all of the negative reinforcement and turn on the opposing, positive energy instead.