Monday, October 17, 2011

it’s probably just me, but…..

Last Saturday morning, as I tended our market stall at the harbourside, I saw two things that have been haunting me since that time.
The first involved what I took to be three young men and their three sons(?). The men were all in their early 30’s, I suppose, and the boys were perhaps 8-10 years of age. Nothing particularly memorable or disturbing about this, of course, and on the positive side, it’s good for fathers and sons to be spending some time together. The problem, for me, was that each of the men was drinking from a can of beer as they passed me; they were loud-mouthed, fairly aggressive in their manner and definitely appeared to be “strutting their stuff” (as if in warning to anyone who might get in their way). Apart from the fact that it was only mid-morning, nothing particularly usual about this you might think. What I found particularly sad was that the three boys were walking directly behind them and, in many ways, were mirroring their fathers’ actions – they each had the same “cocky” gait; they weren’t just talking to each other (and anyone else who might have been interested), they were shouting. In short, they were emulating their fathers – who, sadly and depressingly, were clearly their role-models.
The second incident involved four girls (each perhaps 12 years of age?). I watched them “play” on the cascading steps – running up and down and splashing each other as they did so. Then I saw one of the girls pick up a discarded, polystyrene food container (still half-full of food) and gleefully throw it at one of her friends who was about 5metres away from her – accompanied by much shrieking and shouting. Food was scattered everywhere (but ALL of it in the waters of the cascading steps). It was disgusting. Not a single onlooker seemed to bat an eyelid. The girls thought it was hilarious and soon moved on (to cause havoc elsewhere?). Although I was some 50metres away, I now regret not running along the harbourside myself and confronting the girl in question.
What is to become of us (and them)?

1 comment:

Alice said...

I remember a good man who would take a bag with him as he walked with us into town. He collected litter in it as we went. I think about Grandad's example a lot and he has made me think that doing a little makes a difference. But we can't change hearts and we can't do other people's change for them. Xxx