Monday, 5 March 2012

Can't we change this? Just a little bit.

Two things have happened to me recently which I have thought a lot about.

On Saturday during a family trip swimming I managed to leave OH's gilet/bodywarmer (when I said gilet the receptionist said "I'm sorry I don't know what that is") in the changing cubicle with his iphone in the pocket and our door key.  Very sadly instead of handing it in someone took it so OH is having to sort out a new phone and we've had to change our door locks and I've had to buy a new gilet for him.  So I suspect that lapse of judgment will have cost us something in the region of £200.  This is not to mention the inconvenience, the stress, the paperwork, the phone calls and the argument.

But what makes someone find that and think "oh goodie I'll take this".  I found £20 in my home leisure centre about 6 months ago and I handed it in to reception.  My logic was if I lost £20 I'd be pretty darn upset and I wanted to save somebody that.  But am I just being naive?  Is this the way the world is now? Every man and woman for themselves and all that?

The other thing was a conversation with a good friend.  She told me she was coming home one night along a single carriageway near her home (50 or 60 limit, I can't remember) and this woman suddenly just stopped on the road in front of her.  My friend waited.  Then flashed.  Then flashed again.  Finally she beeped.  The woman waved her to go round.  As my friend drove round her the woman made a rude gesture.  I was actually a bit shocked.  I mean how can someone be so rude when they have just done something monumentally stupid and (I think) illegal and someone has reacted to this in what I think was a fairly sensible, and not particularly confrontational way.

Both these things highlight to me that these people could think no further than themselves and their own lives.  The person who took OH's things just wanted them and didn't give a second's thought to what this might do to other people.  The woman in the car just wanted to stop, to hell with what inconvenience and danger that might cause to other road users.

This kind of thing absolutely winds me up beyond belief.  They sit against other examples of people throwing litter on the floor, letting their dogs poo on the road and leaving it and an extensive list of other such things.  It's selfishness in the extreme.  It's not evil, it's not someone who is intent on a life of crime.  It's just selfishness.

I have for a long time believed passionately that if everybody just considered how their actions affected others for just a few seconds then the world would be an immeasurably better place.  We were taught at school that you should treat others as you would like to be treated and it's something that was reinforced to me by my parents, and something, I hope, I am instilling in my children. 

I know that there are people out there who have not been treated well by their parents or their peers or society generall,y but I also believe that you are in control of your life.  You may have made some bad decisions up until now.  But really what kind of world do you want to live in?  I have found that if you show kindness to people, you get kindness back.  I'm not talking about massive things.  You can just hold a door for someone instead of letting it slam on them.  You can put your trolley back instead of leaving it impeding a parking space.  You can let somebody out at a junction.  Imagine if half the world did something like that every day.  Wouldn't that be incredible?  It starts with just a few people, thinking about how their actions and how they affect others, and just doing something nice.  That could then trigger other people to think and do something nice and so on. 

So come on people how about it?  What kind of world do you want to live in?  Think about it.  Please.