Thursday, 21 January 2010


At the risk of sounding like a full blown rant or an old lady, I need to explain a small incident that happened to me today. Having a child-free morning I decided to visit the library. I love libraries and I especially love to go without any children who will pull the books off the shelves, run around hiding between the bookshelves and talking loudly on purpose. It is a treat and one which I cherish beyond words. In fact, and I digress but it's worth it, the first time ( for 8 years) I went to the library child-free was recently and I actually wanted to just lie on the floor and breathe in the peace and the presence of all those delicious books. I didn't, but the temptation was great.

However, I need to get back to my point. The library car park in Bromsgrove has about 10 spaces and 2 disabled spaces. This is, of course, totally inadequate for the library which has many more than 10 book-lovers at a time visiting. The library is situated in the middle of the town, in which you have to pay fairly extortionate rates to park. Needless to say, lots of people use the library car park when they are in fact visiting the town. There are enormous signs all over the car park explaining that it is for library users only. Are you guessing what is going to come next?!

I pull into the car park, ready for my rare treat, only to find one space left which is just being taken by a man who really did not look like a library user. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and watched him climb out of his car, hoping that he would at least be going into the library. Unfortunately, he started walking in the opposite direction towards the town. I cannot sit and keep quiet about these injustices and wound down my window.

"'Scuse me" I called to him, "Are you not going into the library?"
"Nah," he replied, "I'm just nipping to the cash point."
Well, I thought, at least he is being honest.
"But you are only supposed to use this car park if you are going to library." I tried to speak as politely as I could.
"I'm only nipping to the cash point and then I'll be back." He didn't even look remotely sheepish at being caught out.
"Yes," I argued "But there are signs everywhere that say you can't park here if you're going into the town."
"I know, " he said, shrugging, (and this is the bit that shocked me) "But there are signs like that everywhere. I'm only nipping to the cash point." He started to walk off.
"I am waiting to go to the library!" I called after him, but he had gone, and he did not care.

I did not get my parking space and I gave up on my prized visit to the library.

What shocked me immensely about this man was that he either did not care that he was disobeying, or he had never been taught to obey authority in the first place. Is that not one of the biggest problems in our time? Children are not taught to obey and respect authority, so they grow up breaking rules left, right and centre. This man was in his 30's and I think even 30 years ago children were taught about obedience more than they are now. I wonder what it will be like when our teenagers and children have grown into adults. A whole generation of people who have not been taught obedience, who do not respect authority, who do not realise there are consequences for their actions, who are selfish and want their needs met immediately. I wonder what the world will be like then? We need to be intentional with our kids, however difficult it is (and having given birth to the worlds most stubborn and disobedient children, I know it is difficult!!) to teach them to obey. It is perhaps one of the most important life skills we can give them.

1 comment:

slave2boys said...

Next time I see you, I will help you across the road!