Friday 18 September 2009

We are society, each one of us

Cross with crossers

Sometimes my views are quite socialist in outlook, in other words they are Christianly but it is really about individuals who realise that despite their need to exercise personal responsibility they have civic and communal responsibilities that relate to peaceful coexistence with others.

Nowhere was this most evident than when pedestrians have to navigate multiple pelican and zebra crossings at an intersection that leads to public transport facilities.

More than once I saw people in their urgency get to the crossing, neglect to push the buttons at the traffic lights that trigger a timing mechanism to equitably divide waiting times between pedestrians and other road users, then cross the road before the lights signal access, moving on to do the same thing at the next crossing.

In general, one would expect that people naturally would push those traffic light buttons once they get to the crossing regardless of if they have to wait or not, but one learns there is no presence of mind for the community but a selfish desire to make ones way at speed, at risk and in possible stupidity.

Rushing to keep back

It becomes ever so irksome if the said persons do stand in the way of access to those buttons as other conscientious members of the public realise their need to do the right thing.

Move to public transport and trains approaching stops have people gathered at the doors to get out only to realise Mr and Mrs Rush do not know they have to push a button to open the doors until someone steps forward to do that and not a word is offered in penitence for lacking the virtue of knowledge which with patience would have allowed those who really know to open the doors for all others to get off a lot earlier.

Forward without unction

Then, cyclists who refuse to stop at the demarcations from where the traffic lights can be viewed and reacted to. They get beyond the lines in haste and then stop, but are oblivious of when the lights change creating a pile up borne of selfishness rather a simple adherence to basic traffic rules without which chaos would reign in anarchistic aplomb.

However, this microcosm of societal apathy in the quest for individual aggrandisement is reflected in many other places like littering the streets with rubbish, the discarding of cigarette butts and chewing gum on the pavements, the rush to get in or on without regard for those who need to get off first and so on.

A loss of communal responsibility

Many of these things I have written about before, yawns that expose the gaping cavity of a hippopotamus’ gob, with the uvula descending like a stalactite in a forbidden cave albeit on uncultured members of the seemingly most intelligent species on the face of the earth.

It is hard enough being assaulted with the sight of underwear on fashion suicides that wear low-rise trousers but one was overcome with gut-retching nausea when the underwear had apparently disappeared to reveal flesh – did one not shout within oneself to call that miscreant to order?

Where are the men in white coats when you need them? The lobotomy must to radical enough to allow for the sense of community in the morass of unconcerned individuality masquerading as islands of men independent of the other and oblivious of the need for corporate responsibility.

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