Maybe I’m becoming a bit of a grumpy old man, but my perception of the world around me is deteriorating badly. My cynicism knows no bounds. Constantly on the lookout for things sent to test, I often find them not far away. Fortunately, this outlook is fleeting, though regularly recurring, and I am able most of the time to maintain a balanced viewpoint on the future of mankind. However…
I was visiting a school first thing this morning and, as I strolled through the hoards of parents and children making their way towards the gates, one thing that struck me was the number of scooter-riding children who were having early-morning strops. It took more than the fingers of one hand to count the number of children lying on the ground or jumping up and down protesting about something or other.
Along the same street was a young boy, who must have been about 6 years old, being led by the hand by his mother. His other hand was holding a large mobile phone playing a clip of something from YouTube, to which his eyes were firmly glued. Fair enough, he was being delivered to school on time, but at what cost?
Just outside the school gates is a zebra crossing, and as I was entering the playground, my attention was drawn to an altercation. I hadn’t seen what had happened, but it was enough to cause a middle-aged man to get out of his car, which had stopped just before the black and white markings, and yell a profanity towards a woman who was by now walking away. He actually got out of his car to yell. This, in front of young children, is just completely thoughtless behaviour.
I must balance these observations by saying that my time spend inside the school gave me a much nicer feeling. The same is true for many, many schools, where the adults go over and above the call of duty to meet the wide and varied needs of children, fighting against the out-of-school environment.