I live near a school. A girl’s school. Being sensitive to high-pitched tones, some of the squealing would make me loathe going in and coming out times. I remembered, though, that it was just the same when I was at school and and that’s just the way it is. I must have dealt with it better then, or perhaps the simple joy of my escape from drab, stinky boxes filled with the threat of exploding zits was such relief that I became immune, temporarily, to the sound, leaving the local hounds to suffer in silence, until the sudden footfall had passed.
There’s a bitter-sweet element to many such situations, though. The current one being the discovery that while the focus of derision lands on the poor kids who are trying to figure out life and to do and say nothing that will be a source of regret, their parents and teachers appear not to share any such inhibitions. That can be amusing to observe. I may be blind to a universal use of reverse psychology here, where the belief that to demonstrate unfettered stupidity, selfishness and meanness will engender our youth – future leaders upon whom we will come to depend – with a sense of the consequences of such behaviour to be avoided.
Sadly, I fear this is not the case, though, and the little Mum’s who cannot see beyond the bonnet of their MPV’s, and the big Mum’s who are too squashed into tiny cars to have any room for manoeuvre are so stressed that they cannot drive either sensibly or safely and we are lucky not to have had an accident as these Mums drive a tout vitesse towards any space regardless of it being a good move, a necessary move, or a desirable move. Oh, the road is blocked. No-one, it seems, is able to reverse their car. It’s beyond the facts that they are unwilling to desist and move for the good of common sense – no they actually cannot reverse their cars, large or small, or park them in a space appropriate to the size of their vehicle.
The teachers are by far the worst culprits here. This is based on their parking (18″ from the kerb in tight, largely single track lanes, as if to say “breath in when passing me – I haven’t left you any space because I was running late and I can’t park my own car anyhow”). No, they can’t and certainly not into a space for just one car – they need space enough for two cars. I’m losing any belief in the reverse psychology hypothesis now. They just can’t park. They are just selfish enough to take two spaces, rather than just the one. This is not to show the children that if they leave everything until the last minute, they’ll have no option but to scrape their cars by cramming into a ludicrously small space because Miss Informed and Mr Braincellortwo came earlier and took two spaces that they didn’t need, with no regard for you – or local residents. Aha! No, they really are thoughtless, selfish bad examples teaching our future leaders, bleeders and over-feeders.
Nor can I believe that the Mums and the few Dads, who dare to enter the fray, are demonstrating that their offspring should not behave like this. It is their actual, accepted modus operandi, looked over as acceptable because the others would have behaved so, had they got to that space first – and probably will on another day. The result is that we cannot use our roads at these particular times, we cannot park near our homes and our vehicles get scratched. Other results are pollution (always good near schools), unhealthy, lazy kids given no incentive or direction to walk at least the last part of the journey to school, gridlock, frayed tempers, frayed nerves and lots of horn-tooting and bad language. Not nice.
I worry for the children subjected to such bad examples by the adults on whom they rely; their parents, their teachers but then look further afield at the way we have historically looked away. Everyone is a good person, a good parent, a good teacher – so where is it going wrong? By not practicing the goodness we have inside us to the degree we know we should. No one is perfect and we need to make mistakes to learn and remember. That’s alright. A mistake is a mistake but to see common-place wrong and not have have the courage to try to do something about it is equally wrong – and possibly worse.
So, when complaining at how the young have no respect for their elders the way they used to, look at what has changed. There was never a golden age of perfection. There have always been rotten people but communities stood firm with a universal knowledge of right and wrong, truth and lies. Individuals could do so in the knowledge that they would be supported not derided or ignored as would often happen now.
Where can we look for an example of worthiness and goodness? The Royal family? Faith and Religious leaders? Bankers? Business leaders? Government? Police? Who can you trust to deserve your trust? I hope this is nothing more than my skewed logic and simple thinking but I do believe we need to rein ourselves in as a race and think about where we are going. We must look after ourselves but to do so without accounting for the wider population is dog-eat-dog to destruction, not progress. So there. Have a nice weekend.
For my part I did raise my concern about the lack of traffic management and asked for a mini roundabout to ease up the speed of traffic at an unmarked merge point, to no avail. A traffic warden came to observe for a week and the everything changed and ran smoothly – just because of his presence. He saw all was well and never came back but the problem did. We are now to have restricted parking that will cost us more and be inconvenient for any guests we have. That’s because they did the same on the other hill, so now everyone parks around here. So here’s to shunting the problem a little further away, for a while. Just look away, that’s normal.