Are we still a caring nation or media and TV puppets………………

……………………… you can probably guess this is slightly off topic but still no less important to me. As we pulled into the car park today for the local carnival (admittedly a bit later than anticipated) I was frustrated to see 50% of cars in the disabled bays once again not displaying blue badges. I got to thinking what makes the people of my hometown think that they are so special that they can use these spaces even if they do not have a need to, this put me in a bad mood before even getting to see the carnival procession. I’d been thinking about writing this piece for a few days now and with this in mind and another couple of coincidences I shall talk about shortly I decided today would be the day. We got the last space in the car park, and having made the decision not to use my scooter due to the abuse I have received in crowds previously, it meant a long (in my terms) slow walk in to the town.

I got to relive my youth by sitting on the market cross, this time not chugging a bottle of sherry before a night of craziness, but to rest, watch the procession and get my strength back. The procession for such a proud market town has got smaller each year to the point that it is unrecognisable from the one I used to be on floats in as a child. I saw the stall for the people campaigning tirelessly to Light Up Wymondham this Christmas, as we need £15,000 to put on a display of lights that the town can be proud of. Every year at the switch on I hear the moans and groans and a group of local residents have started their own campaign to get the lights so they are something to be proud of. The minute the campaign launched we contributed online, after all you cannot complain and then do nothing. Or can you, with just over 14,000 residents in the 2011 census, this equates to about £1 per person, not to mention the local villages that surround us, but still the campaign is massively short of funds and this in a supposedly affluent blue town. Do people care enough or do we just like to complain now as that is what the media preaches?

The next coincidence was a friend sharing a video that has gone viral of Londoners doing good deeds, simple things like carrying a ladies suitcase up some steps, and waking someone at a particular station on the train. Anyway this got me thinking that maybe I was wrong and that the majority of people are good, this was further backed up when a friend saw the video and said what a coincidence, I did my good deed today, I towed a couple’s car out of a ditch on the way home and he said everyone would do the same thing, I wonder if he was the first car to pass them? I love to watch The Last Leg, it keeps me grounded and the humour is at my level and they have started a campaign #legup and this has taken off with people offering to help others. They also have some great rants at topical issues and talk some real sense.

So with all this in mind where does my reality TV puppets come from, well it’s like this I’ve seen two new TV programmes advertised this week, one teaching celebrities to be shepherds and and another to see how a group of unknowns survive whilst camping. This tells me we really are scraping the bottom of reality TV barrel, we can’t get much lower yet the need must be out there otherwise why do the TV companies keep making the shows. Gone are the days of Big Brother when an ordinary group of people do some daft challenges and hello to hell, with people deliberately picked to argue. Furthermore I see programmes like Benefits Street, 19 Kids and Counting and Inside the KKK doing nothing to change extreme views held by people and further increasing hatred. You have MP’s getting a pay rise far above and beyond any of their public sector colleagues and this is justified because their expenses system (the same one that they were abusing) has been reviewed. It comes at a time when we are meant, if we listen to our headlines and government despise doctors and the NHS for not operating 24/7/365. Now I don’t know about the rest of you but my experiences of the NHS are not negative at all, I’ve received nothing but excellent A & E care when required. Yes I’d like to see my GP quicker and wish so many services were not cut, but this has resulted from financial cuts, and not a lack of care from the doctors. Yes it frustrates me that you have to wait so long for some referrals and to see specialists but when push comes to shove and emergency care is required we have the best health care in the world.

If you go one step further and look at the media you have papers who have never really regained trust since the phone tapping scandal who clearly have a political agenda, so who can you turn to when you want an unbalanced view. Politicians are no better, deciding in the recent general elections who to vote for was difficult as so many of them spent the entire run up to the campaign moaning about predecessors.

If you pick any newspaper up you are bombarded with story after story of bad news, we want to hear about others misfortune, or schools that are failing, people making mistakes and so on and so forth. We come to believe that these isolated are the norm. It happens in all professions doctors make me mistakes suddenly all services are failing, a few bad police officers and suddenly all are corrupt, one bad case by social workers makes them all bad, a bad ofstead report or visit to a school and all schools in the area are failing (how about looking as these are only what are reported. No one seems to want to read how many lives doctors have saved, how many crimes police have stopped or solved or how many millions of children have been helped. Are we really so insular in our thinking and desensitized to the real world that we believe everything we see and/or read. After programmes I constantly see social media going mad about the professions portrayed and how useless they are, even professions that they themselves have benefitted from.

I know I’m human and that I make mistakes, I just have the benefit of not working in a profession where my mistakes become front page news. I also know that there are lots of people who are kind and loving and who care for me and my family on a regular basis. Surely this should be the news we want to hear about, not misfortune and mistakes. Now I’m not for one minute suggesting that people should not be accountable but there is a right and wrong way to do it. We should make up our minds about things not be brainwashed by tv or papers. We should try to be more kind, generous and forgiving and not so quick to run our mouths off or complain about things we see and read without having a truly balanced view and understanding of the incident or profession. Most importantly we must be better than reality tv, sad news craving puppets. I realise I have made sweeping generalisations in this piece and in some part this makes me just as guilty of the same things that I am trying to explain that are bad, and also that as pieces go this blog really isn’t well written, its more a mish mash of ramblings.

What I’ve been saying or trying to say is that if we all start to look for the good in people, if we all start helping people and if we all stop being misled by media and politicians and instead research for ourselves maybe the world would be a better place, maybe next time you see that person stood at a bus stop getting soaked you’ll share your umbrella, or before you next go shopping you’ll knock on your neighbour and see if they need anything, or if you see someone fall over you’ll help them up. Anyway enough ramblings just be kind to each other. You never know someone else’s story if you don’t make the effort to find out!

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