Reading a story this morning about Mayor Bloomberg’s new composting initiative, which right now is voluntary and encouraged, but some media opinion writers suspect may become mandatory, and that the motives aren’t entirely, shall we say, “selfless.”
The piece rightly points out that there were similar (though not identical) efforts to ban smoking, trans-fats and even sugary drinks – all of which have run into criticism and roadblocks. (Opinion: I like all these ideas, because they make us healthier and cut into problems that are draining our public resources and putting us in early graves.)
And it got me thinking that, while mandates are often unpopular (and can even be unfair), sometimes they are needed.
Take exercise: I should probably mandate getting my flabby butt out of bed and going to the gym.
Take blogging: I don’t like that my posts here can be infrequent, and I should probably mandate at least two hours a week where I shut everything off and just write for this site.
Take work: we could probably all use a little more mandated time spent on important projects each week. Time to think and plan for projects that are down the road. Time to devote some energy to housekeeping, whether building our contacts, organizing files or updating our own social media profiles and offering counsel to clients about a theirs.
All this in the pursuit of something that’s good for us, even though it might be hard to find that initial motivation.
Mandate: it may not a bad word after all.