Perspective is Everything

Perspective is everything.

For example, if I tell my 5 year old son he has to do his homework instead of play with his friends, he's devastated. But if I re-frame the statement and tell him he gets to go do some science experiments with water and glue, he's elated.

And - that's not just true for children.

When I tell my husband he has to watch the kids instead of Monday night football because I have book club, he gets a little miffed. But if I re-frame my statement and tell him the kids are so excited to spend time with him while mommy's at book club, he's a little more motivated to enjoy the evening.

Framing the situation plays such an important role in how we view our circumstances. That's true when people talk about their jobs, their families, their church, their hobbies, or even their kids.

It is especially true when we talk about transportation funding. There's no secret that the majority of our transportation projects are publicly funded. Public funds are most likely generated from user fees paid by those who drive, fly, ship through the port, or use transit.

When I tell you, like USA Today did in this slide show, that there are going to be increases in user fees in 7 states, it sounds a bit - well - negative.

But how would you feel about that same issue if I told you that the families who live in these 7 states are going to have safe, reliable access to education for their children? Wouldn't you think that was great that someone realized that having a safe route to and from school for children is important?

What if I told you that the political leaders in those 7 states took bold steps to ensure their states have the infrastructure they need for the future. The transportation network in these 7 states will be in place when the population grows or when companies look for sites to relocate, build or expand. Wouldn't you think those states have strong leaders who were willing to address a challenge?

I could tell you that the companies located in those 7 states will have better, more dependable infrastructure to move their products to the global marketplace. Not only is the infrastructure going to be built in these 7 states - there will be funding to maintain it. Wouldn't you think it was wonderful that steps had been taken to ensure major employers have the infrastructure they need in place - so they don't look for it somewhere else?

I could tell you that the people who live in these 7 states will have access to more employment while infrastructure improvements are made. Those infrastructure improvements will continue to contribute to long term employment opportunities long after the construction is complete. Don't you think those opportunities are awesome?

It all sounds pretty awesome to me - but that's just my perspective.