While walking through the Warwick Mall the other day I came across this upsetting sign:
Seriously? Are we, as a country, really in any position to be deterring people from exercising? This takes it to a whole new level; forget exercising, we are now telling people to not even move for everyday activities. Next step, “ATTENTION WALKERS: DO NOT Window shop. Walking is only permitted when you go somewhere to purchase” because all that meandering around the mall might make people uppity and energized.
Now I know that this sign isn’t geared towards anyone other than the blue hairs who do laps at the mall to get in shape, but what is our problem with them? They usually get up with the sun and go before anyone else is there. They are utilizing a public space in a way that improves their health, energy levels and mood. If we stop them aren’t we risking a world filled with unhealthy, needy, grumpy old people who no longer choose to contribute to society? Won’t that risk raising insurance premiums or mess up medicare and fill up the hospitals? (I’m really asking because I don’t know much about this stuff, but I’ve heard). Let’s face it, the mall is an ideal place for them to work out, it’s warm and large and visually captivating, I would save a ton on a gym membership if I could get into that. Plus, it gets people window shopping for hours and they will likely return later to shop. Now that I’m thinking about it, these people are fitness role models and they boost the economy.
I wonder who came up with the idea for this sign, who approved it, designed it with the mall logo and had it professionally printed to fit in that stand? Real effort went into this message, which says to me there was a heated discussion behind it. What? Were the thousands of ladies in track suits clogging up the stairs trying to get those extra calories burned? I can picture paying customers having to shove through mobs of fit seniors and stumbling into the stores all bedraggled and out of breath. It’s a war out there.
I decided to walk around the sign and take the damn stairs because I’ll admit, my intention all along when I approached them was to get a little bonus cardio. If not for that sign I would have recklessly messed with the mall policy and I might have even used the stairs to go back down… I did my best to appear to be lackadaisical on my way up so as not to get in trouble.