The following was written by my wife Eve and republished here due to Posterous shutting down.
It Is a Weird World We Live In
Sometimes, I get the feeling that everyone and everything around me has gone insane. The world as I
know it today isn’t the world I grew up in. I had a fairly normal, easy childhood, with my family, friends, and
acquaintances all being around all the time, looking out for me. I knew exactly where my place in society was and in
the community and in my little circle of friends. My upbringing was quite standard and has helped to keep me
grounded and focused on those things in life that matter.
However, sometimes I don’t understand today’s world. The values are all different nowadays, there are no morals
to speak of, there is no interest in the things I value anymore — family, education, kindness, love. All this
world seems to care about is status. Don’t people see how it doesn’t matter how much money you have or what car
you drive or where you live? All these things you can lose in a flash. No one can take your knowledge or experience
or education away from you. No one can steal your kindness or goodness or love. And yet, it seems most people will
do anything for money or looks but don’t care much for anything else.
It breaks my heart when I see kids on the estate up my road in the middle of the night, sitting on the swings in the
playground and smoking. I don’t even want to know what they are smoking. They are there every single time I go
into my night shift, without failure. Where are their parents? Do they not care? Who tucks them in at night? Who
makes sure they are fed and clothed and happy and doing well at school? Some of these kids seem very young, maybe 8
or 10. And when you look at them, they stare back at you with their empty eyes and mouth ‘fuck off’ at you (I
see them from the bus and frankly, I would not particularly want to come face-to-face with them).
It makes me want to cry and give the young girls pushing their prams a big hug and ask if their mums never told them
they are better than this? That they deserve a better life with education and a career and a nice man who treats
them well? Did no one tell them that they don’t have to bend to peer pressure and don’t have to sleep with the
first bloke who comes their way? Did they know that the fumbled attempt at sex would lead to a baby and to a life
spent in most cases on benefits, with no vision for the future? Did no one tell them after the second baby? How
about the third?
Am I the only weird person left here who believes in the value of marriage and family? Who wouldn’t want to bring
a baby into this world unless married? Actually, scrap that — even if I got married one day, would I want to bring
a baby into this crazy world? What happened to church? Does anyone actually still go there? I wouldn’t know, as I
haven’t been for years but I have my own reasons for this, not that I don’t want to.
There is so little love in this world. Sometimes people just need to be shown a little compassion. But love and
kindness is so unprofessional these days. When I see the young girls who come into our project as clients, and how
they go from one horrid relationship into another, how they are abused physically, financially, and emotionally, how
they cut themselves to release the pain, I wish I could hug them and say ‘you deserve better than this’ — but
I mustn’t because a hug, of course, is out of bounds and unprofessional. If I must, I can go for the pat on the
arm. But only on special occassions, if the person is distraught or suicidal.
I wonder, if the kids from the playground knew they were coming home to a hug and a kind word and loving parents who
want to hear about their day and want to spend time with them, would these kids want to go home at night rather than
sit on the swings smoking? Would the girl with the pram have said no and known that if he really loved her, he would
wait? That not only he would wait but move mountains for her? Would she be secure in the knowledge of being loved
and cherished at home enough for her to not have to seek love in the five minutes of physical intimacy with a guy
she may never see or speak to again? Would my clients ever start cutting themselves, or taking drugs or feeling so
low they overdose on their medication regularly just to make someone — anyone — pay attention?
Sometimes I don’t really want to live in this strange alien world that I don’t like. But it is the only world we
have… How can we make it a nicer place to live in?