Monday, August 04, 2008

Ignorance is Bliss

"Ignorance is Bliss" goes the old phrase - my response is "If that is true, why aren't there more happy people around!".

A curious way to start I know, but I've been struck over the last few weeks by the way some people behave. On four separate occasions when out with our two sons in town we've stood to one side to let someone come past us - usually when we could have kept going but I decided to teach our children the manners I was taught at their age. On these four occasions the people we let through said absolutely nothing - they saw us and what we did and chose to ignore us completely. One of the stall holders in the market even commented to us on the rudeness of the person in question - they had seen what we had done - and they went on to say they saw it all the time.

I hear a lot said these days about the way that young people have no respect at all - yet each of the four people we encountered were over 50. I know that there are problems, many of them in this village - the new play area has already sprouted the usual "Kaz luvs Kev" graffiti, much to my sorrow - but can we expect respect from a generation who are shown none? If those of us who are adults chose not to acknowledge the times that children and young people show us respect, how can we expect them to continue so to do?

Recently a team of seven young men and women from the Adwick Detachment of the Army Cadet Force were our waiters and waitresses at a meal for Bishop Jack and his wife Judith - many commented at their attitude and politeness - it stands in marked contrast to the attitude of many adults in our community.

Our children look to us to set an example - the book of Proverbs says "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it." Perhaps before we criticise the children and young people of this generation we should take a long hard look at the example we, and our society, have set them.

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