Perceptions #Sunday #ramble
Today’s picture is of the Walsall Canal as it passes by Moorcroft Wood. Someone said it could be the English Countryside. This is what I see when I’m taking photos, others see the graffiti and a much more scary place. They see symbols showing support for nationalist EDL and the tags that say I’m someone, when they are really no one. No one of any importance anyway.
Perhaps that’s the problem, they have little control over their lives or the community they live in and so when they see beauty they have to spoil it for others. A protest based on the premise, that if I have nothing, you deserve nothing too. It’s the protest of envy. We also get the inverse of that, people who have everything and swan around Debenhams in their spare time maxing out their credit card feeling it’s because they deserve it. They have a good job in an office pressing keys on a computer and to them that’s ‘work’ or the perception of work. It’s not quite like getting up at 5am to empty wheelie bins, but hey they get paid a lot more. They deserve the rewards, people who get up at lunchtime and press keys all day on a cell phone checking out their Facebook page deserve nothing. Benefit claimants don’t deserve wide screen televisions or smart phones, they should be on their bikes looking for work. These Victorian attitudes and perceptions should have died with Victoria, but they are kept alive by the media who revel in showing us how the other half live, in series such as Downton Abbey and Mr Selfridge.
I’ve been researching history for a local history page on Facebook. Yesterday I waded through the Saxon Chronicle, not the original, but a translation. I also read some medical notes written by Victorian doctors, they were gruesome. In Saxon times, the people and especially women were mere chattels, that could be bought and sold or given as peace offerings to enemies. Even in Victorian times, women were taken to market with a horse’s halter around their necks and sold like a farmyard animal. Not all women were treated with such distain. The aristocratic ladies of importance were given due respect, at least publicly. It was the ordinary working classes that had to know their place as beasts of burden.
Are things different today? The aristocracy has changed, the ladies of importance are still aristocrats, but have joined by celebrities. How about those working class beasts of burden? Are they treated with respect or expected to get on their knees and clean for minimum wage or on a zero hours contract. Are they expected to care for the young and the old, not only for minimal reward, but for minimal respect?
I’ve been reading a lot about civil society too, those organisations that help people. Women seem very active in those and others, who the people in power feel are useless and undeserving. We see small non government organisations everywhere. I see friends of the local park, friends at the hospital and friends of the local canal, doing their work voluntarily and without reward. They don’t want or need reward, but respect and appreciation by the people in power is deserved. These small NGO’s make a difference, they make the park a pleasant place to walk on a Sunday afternoon, they push a trolley load of newspapers around the hospital wards on a Sunday morning. These are the people that know that little things matter.
Little things like equality and respect do matter.
That’s all for today. What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments box, you can also subscribe to this blog and receive emails or follow me on Twitter for updates.