Our house overlooks a quiet street, which means that when people come walking past, their conversations are clearly audible. This always provides an interesting ‘window’ on where people are at and how they feel. Many adolescents and adults in their 20’s and 30’s seem weighed down by some burden of anger that has to be discharged at someone or something. There is no discussion, just accusation or statements. A classic the other week was was a young mother (mid to late 20’s) who was making it very clear that it wasn’t her street, she only rented a house and therefore, it was the council’s responsibility to pick up her litter. As she rents a house, I wondered mentally what sort of dustbin or rat hole she must live in if she applies the same logic there. Another example is when a lorry stops to make a delivery. Cars taking a short cut to the station sit sounding their horn, as if by doing so the lorry will translate itself onto a roof and let them pass. The outcome of these encounters is usually the delivery driver slowing down to infuriate the ‘offended’ driver further, or a verbal exchange using few words from the original Oxford English Dictionary. Most of the impatient drivers are in their 20’s or 30’s (but older drivers are certainly not exempt … especially those who drive prestige cars!). Another individual on the street whose front door was broken down in a police drugs raid was quite incensed that they hadn’t tried the handle first “…because if they had they’d have found the door unlocked”;  not the slightest comprehension of why the police had chosen to drop in unexpectedly in the first place. Those in their older years do not get off scott free: There is a man who feels he is the street’s guardian who comments at almost anyone passing by who doesn’t fit into his mental image of how they should be acting. Young people having fun are often the target for his salvos of inappropriate words. It’s too easy to make generalisations, see the response but not try to address the underlying cause. None of the instances above are uncommon in any area of Britain. Neither, unfortunately, is the “I, Me, Mine” attitude that many of us display; ignoring others, trying to live in our own little bubble, looking after Number One. We see it but don’t even try to do anything about it. What can we do? We can show that things can be different by our own example. Thankfully I know many people of all ages who dare to defy the norm and be different; who find something positive to say when there is little positive to see; who care for those that seem to reject initial approach; who say positive things about others rather than being drawn into a bitching session; who make a difference. It strikes me that in our litigious, blame culture, it’s too easy to point the finger and abdicate responsibility for our own actions.  We want our rights without the responsibilities. But I always remember the wise words of a friend who said, “Remember Stuart, when you point the finger at others, there are always three pointing back at yourself!” So, when I feel justified in my criticism, blame and accusations, I try to remember these words and remember that perhaps, just perhaps the underlying cause of many hurtful responses is a hurting that needs healing. This is a formidable challenge as so many hurts are deep seated from a very young age.  That does not mean they should be used as an excuse, but it also does not mean they should be ignored.

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About waywood

Hi & Welcome to my thoughts. I share subjects that are important to me. As you’ll notice, these subjects can be quite broad & varied. I like variety; I like breadth & I like a challenge. I am passionate about helping others overcome their fears, grow in confidence & succeed. Although many people would label me as an achiever, I have battled low confidence, low self-esteem & a couple of nasty, long periods depression over the years. I can’t say, “I know how you feel” but I can hopefully empathise & offer some of the things that are helping me to turn my life around. Please feel free to comment, share & enjoy. Take care, best wishes & keep well Stuart
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