What? Sorry, What Was That?

In Australia, 1 in 6 are affected by hearing loss. 1 child is identified every day with impaired hearing and 1 in 1000 babies are born with significant hearing loss.  That’s just the Australian figures. Deafness occurs throughout the world so it is plausible to say, that people with hearing issues is a big issue.

The problem is that deafness is an ‘invisible’ disability. While businesses are required to have disability access and treat those with disabilities with respect, very few include deafness in their planning of having a disability friendly business.

It is interesting how some people treat those who are deaf or hearing impaired. They forget that hearing-impaired people are good at reading lips and so talk in front of them, sometimes quite derogatorily, and at other times about issues that they would never speak about, in front of a hearing person.

Then, the majority of people when they are told that you are hearing impaired, tend to do one of three things. They make an excuse to get away – It doesn’t matter that you have been talking to them for the last ten minutes, the minute they find you have a hearing problem, usually because you have, to keep asking them to repeat themselves, they make an excuse and leave.

Or, they will start yelling at you – as though screaming at the top of their lungs is going to help – it doesn’t. All yelling does is make it harder to figure out what is being said. Or they will speak to you really, slowly – I mean really, slow to the point, you want to slap them across the head and say I’m deaf not stupid.

I know, I have these things happen on a regular basis. I am hearing impaired. Not a huge amount but enough to cause problems. I hear parts of words and sentences, so I take what I hear and what I see, put it in the context of where the conversation is taking place and come up with the most logical sentence.  If it sounds logical and fits the context I run with it and I’m pretty good, the majority of people, wouldn’t know I had a problem unless I told them. Although there are times when I totally mishear and then people figure it out but it can be quite funny.

But just because someone is deaf or hearing impaired doesn’t mean they can’t do anything. We can work. Okay, you may need to have some equipment modified, but it’s not a huge amount. Sure, you have, to make sure we’re actually looking at you when you speak, but at least we’re listening. The bonus is that when you do have deaf people come in, you have someone who can sign to them. That’s a win – win for everyone.

But we work as hard as anyone else, maybe even harder. And there are those who dance and sing even though they’re deaf. How? You don’t wear shoes, you feel the beat through the floor and you just have, to trust your pitch is right, if you sing.

I have heard that there is an app or one that is being developed that is designed to help those who have trouble hearing. My understanding is that those who you converse with have, to have the app but basically, it picks up what the person is saying to you and prints it out on the screen.

Deafness is an issue for many, but instead of yelling, or talking slowly or walking away, just speak in a normal tone of voice, because we are normal people, we just don’t hear as good as most, and if you have, to repeat yourself, so be it.

 

 

It’s Just a Blood Test, Right!!!

I’m just one of those people. My veins are deep and at the mere thought of a blood test, they just don’t want to play. The advice is plentiful.

Drink water – lots of it as it will make the veins more accessible. Well I drank over a litre of water and guess what? No blood.

Heat pads will do the job – yeah … um, nope. No blood.

Exercise, get that blood pumping – of course, what a good idea. Shame no one told my veins it was a good idea – no blood.

Is it any wonder that I hate blood tests. They usually end up going into the wrist which hurts. Man, does it hurt. Once the nurse went into the wrist and then said ‘Bugger, it’s rolled, don’t move’ as she dug the needle through, following it.

And apparently not only are my veins deep but my veins are not where they should be. In my left arm I have a ligament and in the right a tendon. But I did the right things, I drank a lot of water, kept warm, they used a heat pad and I had been exercising so the heart was pumping and the guy gets the needle and syringe …. and nothing. Not even a hint.

So after half an hour he gives up and tells me to come back the next day. I go back. Different person but maybe they’ll have success. He takes one look at my arms ‘You have no veins.’ I’m breathing and moving and if I cut myself I bleed so I must have them somewhere. But he quit before he started and referred me to one of their of their senior persons.

I go see her. I give her the form and say ‘I’m sorry, I’m not easy to get blood from.’

She looks at the form and sees the previous two attempts. Looks at my arms and says ‘Uh huh, you’re one of them.’ She tourniquets my arm, feels around and finally finds one … she thinks. She picks up the syringe.

And I say ‘You don’t want to use that type if it is the suction one (so know the technical names .. not), they don’t work on me.’

She says ‘well I need 20 ml and our biggest syringe is 10ml. I don’t want to stab you twice. So she gets a butterfly and sticks it in. Keeps feeling my arm and says ‘I can feel it but the needle wasn’t hitting it. Finally after digging deeper she says ‘Got it, don’t move’ and collects the blood needed.

As I’m leaving she says ‘You don’t want to ever need to go to hospital for an operation. The anesthetist  needs a vein to work with.’

Not planning on going to hospital but thanks for the tip. Only three months till my next one. Anyone want to take my place?

I Wish I Had Learnt At School …

School was not a favourite time for me. Let’s be honest I didn’t like school, I’m an introvert and found it hard, but I look at the schools today and laugh. I chatted with a young mum and she was horrified at what the teachers got away with in my school days.

Back in our days we marched around the school yard saying the times tables over and over till we had them memorised. There was no way anyone passed unless they passed the tests and exams. There was none of this passing a student so they could stay with their friends and not lose their self-confidence.

If students talked too much or mucked around in class then the teacher threw whatever was handy, the duster, the stapler, the text books at the students to get them to stop. There was bullying back then, too but there was no mediation or policy to stop it other than whoever won the fight led the pecking order.

There was no friend chair to sit on – you either had friends or you didn’t. There was no consideration for allergies or noise sensitive students and the accompany policies to cater for them. And in a way, that is a good thing because the world does not cater for you, you have to adjust to the world.

But there are some things that I wish had been taught at school. Life lessons would’ve been nice. I’m talking real life lessons that would actually help you. Things like:

Budgeting – we weren’t taught about money, the value of it or how to budget what you earn or get on social security benefits. My mother taught me to whack everything on credit, but not how to pay it off. I had to teach myself how to budget and sometimes I screw it up, but that’s because, it’s getting increasingly harder and harder to live on a couple of hundred a week. But budgeting would be a useful thing to teach students.

Parenting Skills – how to deal with a child that is challenging. Television and magazines show the stars with their perfect children in looks and behaviour. Occasionally, we get glimpses of them misbehaving but overall, the projection, the image the stars want you to see is perfection, the children are to fit into their image. Some of them give the child a name that if it were a normal person, would see the child teased and ridiculed, but because the parent of a child is a star or influential person, they don’t seem to get teased as much.

But it’s not a fair description. You don’t have many stars going well my child has depression, or ADD or ADHD or Asperger’s or any other of the challenging behaviours. You hear when they get sick or injured and when they go off the rails but not many seem to have challenging behaviour’s which gives a distorted view to those who adore and hero worship their favourite star.

Even those reality baby dolls they are now giving to teenagers with the design to show them how demanding a baby can be, but they are programmed to cry when hungry, need their nappy changed or they want attention.

I’d like to see them programmed to resemble a colicky baby. See how long they last before they want to give up. It would be nice to have a perfect baby but life isn’t perfect and neither are babies. Teach teens about caring for a baby, how to feed, change and look after it. Why not? If they’re going to have sex, they risk pregnancy and if they get pregnant at least they might have some skills to cope.

Basic Car Maintenance – Gone are the days when you could drive to a service station and have the attendant check your car’s oil and water levels and the tyre pressure. I can name one. Many people just don’t know how to do these basic things and then wonder why the car overheats.

But learning to do a basic check including safety tips like don’t open the radiator cap if the car is hot or you risk getting burned. Don’t do what one of my school friends did and check the level of his petrol by opening the cap and trying to see into the tank with a cigarette lighter … it was not a good result.

 Forms – How to fill out the endless pages of government forms. Once you leave school you have tons of forms to fill in, although most of it is online now but it still requires you to understand them. You have tax forms to fill in, forms for your employer if you’re lucky enough to have one, if not you have social security forms to fill in. Endless pages, sometimes with what seems to be the same question but written differently. But it would be nice to understand the nature of these forms and how to fill them out before you dive into the world of forms.

Cooking – How to create a menu and prepare it so that is nutritious. Not just the odd recipe but understanding the food groups, how important they are to one’s health, what foods go together, how much of one food group should you have as well as how to create a menu and prepare it. It doesn’t have to be exotic just basic.

 Cleaning – What cleaning is. My grandmother used to literally sweep the dust under the rug. A lot of people have no understanding of how to clean a house. Teaching about the different products available, how to store them, how toxic they are and how to use them. Simple but a necessity.

Children learn from their parents. If they have a parent who doesn’t know how to clean a home properly then they won’t either. If the parent never cleans and the house is a mess, the child will think that is normal and then get a shock when they realise that actually that’s not normal.

Shopping – Shopping on a budget, how to buy in bulk, what should you buy in bulk and how to store the items when you get them home, so that there is no cross contamination. What should the fridge be set at? How long can you keep things before they need to be tossed.

These are basic things everyone should know but many do not. Many get to adulthood and don’t know these simple basics of life. And if they are not going to be taught at home then they should be taught at school. They should be taught at home through one’s family, but it doesn’t always happen. Maybe it’s just me but these are the things that I wish I had learnt and judging by some of the upcoming teenagers they need it too.

 

I Wonder Why?

I wonder why cats think they’re so superior and that they rule the house and the human. One minute they want to be with you and the next they don’t. One minute they’re purring and the next they’re snarling. You call them and they ignore you, but they want you to fall into their whims of what they want and when they want it.

But then again, I wonder why dogs act like they’re on some important mission that will save the world when they’re looking for a place to do their business. Have you seen the frantic search that they do as they sniff around looking for the right place?

And why is it that whenever I wash my car it rains? It can be the middle of summer, no rain on the horizon, in fact, it could be the middle of a drought, and yet the minute I start to wash my car – grey clouds turn up and hey presto, drenching rain on my handiwork.

I don’t get why if I’m painting I will run out of paint with just a few brush strokes to go. Or if I’m printing an important document, it will choose to run out of ink just as the last couple of pages are printing.

But then I wonder about the serious things in life. Like why can’t people just get along. Why can’t we just accept that we all have our quirks and differences in what we believe, how we dress, speak and behave. Some of it is culture, some of it is life but at the base we are all the same.

We get hurt by another person’s words or actions. We bleed when we cut ourselves and yet we can see humanity come together when a disaster strikes. People helping another who is in distress or injured. But I wonder why we get so self-obsessed and ‘Me’ oriented at any other time.

Why is it that despite there being plenty of money in the world, poverty exists? Despite the abundance of money circulating, it is held by a handful of people. Credit though a lot of them have set up foundations and charities to distribute their wealth to different programs, and some of them have worked incredible hard, but barely scraping enough to get by, let alone have wealth is elusive to many.

Maybe, it’s because people don’t have the education to understand things like budgeting and saving. Maybe, it’s because we live in a ‘I gotta have it now’ society or they don’t understand the difference between a want or a need. Maybe, it’s the greed of people taking advantage of someone by charging an exorbitant interest rate. Maybe people really don’t understand the value of hard work. Maybe, it’s all of the above, and more.

Why is it that we live in a world full of complaints instead of thankfulness? Heartache and anguish instead of peace and love? A world where people hide behind a façade of saying and doing what they think people want to see and hear, instead of just being themselves – real and vulnerable.

Just once I’d like the news to filled with nothing but good news. Just one day nothing bad, no accidents, no deaths, no, I’d like one day of nothing but light and fluffy good feel stories, like the police puppy who failed police school, because he was too friendly, and so now, he is the meet and greet dog at the governor’s house in Queensland.

Like two people who met online at opposite ends of the world, with one in the UK and one in Australia and it ended up with them getting married. People say that long distance relationships don’t work but here we had two people who fell in love despite the distance, and despite the people around them saying it wouldn’t work.

I look forward to the day when the news will be filled with good, nice, happy stories. I wonder if there will ever be a day where that happens. Oh, well back to reality. I’ve just made a coffee and really, like I only needed a little bit of milk, but no, the carton has run dry and no matter how much I try, there just ain’t enough in there to add. Why?

 

 

 

 

# Reality Check

Perspective is a funny thing. How we see things varies from person to person. Is the glass half full or half empty? Is the person positive or negative? Is their perspective tainted because of the way they grew up, the things they were told? Does it matter?

The world is vastly different today from when I was young and even more different from when my parents were young. The younger generation struggle to understand how someone could live without a mobile phone. That once upon a time the choice of car colour was black, black, or you could get black. But now it’s every colour of the rainbow. Television used to be black and white, then colour came into play. Now we’re into the digital age and soon everything will be able to be done with a click of a button.

There was a time there were no computers, no Internet and no social media options which meant there were no personal blogs, no photos of what someone had for dinner or their kids getting into whatever mischief kids get into.

Now though everyone has the option to write a blog, pretty much everyone you know is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sites. And everyone, has the ability, to make an opinion whether right or wrong. There’s a lot of good information on the Internet but there is also a lot of bad information.

One can comment on another person’s comment and it can be constructive or it can be negative. The comment can be written, based on whether the person is having a bad day, and wants to share that around, by bringing someone else down.

Everyone who has a camera can theoretically be a reporter. You don’t need a journalism degree. Come across something, take photo, write a couple of sentences and upload to your favourite site. Except that what is written, in all probability, is from your viewpoint and may have nothing to do with what happened. Then there’s the video’s that are uploaded. The majority don’t need explanation as you see people brawling in the middle of the road or having a rant at someone they’ve taken a dislike to, or the drivers who take some incredibly stupid risks.

But we’ve learnt there’s a lot of fake news. There are some photos and videos, that look really good, and it sucks people in, they comment it on, express their outrage or love for it, and then it’s revealed that it was a hoax all along. Ouch.

Then there’s the ads and on some sites, you have to watch them. I get it that there’s money in advertising, and the people who allow advertising on their site get paid if someone clicks on it but to be forced to watch something… sorry, no I’d rather not read the article or watch the video than get stuck watching an ad I don’t want to watch.

What we see a lot of is perfect bodies, perfect stories and perfect lives. Even television programs and reality shows have people that on the outside have this facade. A few break the mould but mostly those on television have perfect bodies, perfect looks, perfect lives. Ads show perfect bodies, looks and that perfection tends to feed on our insecurities.

It can make us feel bad about ourselves. We can look at these people and say they’re successful because they’re thin and pretty or got great abs and looks. Very few speak about the issues they have had in their lives which feeds the facade although some are now starting to come out and say things they’ve gone through.

People don’t like perfection they want to pull it down. People seem to love negativity, maybe because if they can make someone else feel bad, if they can find someone having a worse life or time than them, it makes them feel better about their lives.

Perfection is not reality. Too much negativity, can drag a person down to the point of giving up, and too much praise can give one an inflated ego. A balance is needed to keep one on an even keel.

I personally like stories of people who haven’t had a perfect life, who are prepared to share the pain, the ups and downs of their journey. Why? Because it shows that they are real, that they are just like you and me … human. A human with all the flaws and emotions both good and bad just like the rest of humanity.

You can feel for them as they go through the stuff that life and others throw at them, and you can cheer for them when they overcome, and that is what makes a powerful story, that gives hope and encouragement to others.

And yes, there will be those that have to comment negatively, but they are outweighed by the positive comments. There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism, it helps balance and you can learn from that.

The reality is that life can suck at times but it is how you handle it that matters. The reality is that not everyone is going to like you but it is how you handle the negativity, as well as the positive that matters. The reality is that there is a lot of anger in the world today and not everything is going to go your way but it is how you deal with conflict that matters.

The reality is that perfection is a facade, no one is perfect and the reality is, that one day you will die – how do you want to be remembered by others?

 

 

James Arthur – Safe Inside

I don’t normally talk about songs. It’s not that I don’t like music I do but normally that’s all it is to me. Something to listen to. And sure, there are some songs that I like more than others, some whose lyrics I can relate to, such as … Innocent Man by Billy Joel, That Don’t Impress Me Much by Shania Twain, I Believe in You by Michael Buble and others but there was something different about Safe Inside.

They say that songs are written for the same reason a book is written, that there is a message, that the creator of the work, wants to send to people. The only reason, I’m writing about this song is because it has touched me in a way, that quite frankly I don’t understand. So much so that because of how much it stirred in me I had to find out why this song was written.

I never hear of James Arthur until recently, I didn’t know anything about him and sometimes that’s a good thing, if you haven’t read anything about someone then you haven’t got a preconceived idea to draw from. You see the first time I heard this song I found tears running down my face. Not a huge amount but still that was unnerving. How could a song have that effect on me? How can a song still have that effect on me?

Life was not kind to me, and so I shut down my emotions down in order to survive it. One of the things I shut down was the ability to cry. I just don’t do that and yet this song causes me to shed tears. And anyone who knows me knows that just doesn’t happen.

And so I found a video of him discussing the lyrics and what he was trying to get across. The fact that it was about the close relationship with his sister who was abandoned by father.  He took her under his wing. That really says a lot about someone’s character despite any mistakes they, themselves may have made.

He relates to the worry of a parent for a child, he has a deep love for his sister. And he opens up about the drugs that he took and that he was in a dark place, yet he got himself together and hoped his sister wouldn’t go down the same path. He talks about how the family issues created insecurity for his sister. In his Facebook page, he talks about growing up in foster home and he has trust issues.

And as I watched this video of him talking about the reason behind the song I could see that it was hard for him to talk of these things. That it was deeply personal and when it’s personal it can be really hard to talk about it, because sometimes you feel as though you are the only one going through it, when in reality many others have gone, are going and will go through the things you have. And when you make yourself vulnerable by opening up, sometimes people can use it against you so it is not easy.

Many people though, have trust issues, insecurities, rejection, the list goes on. I’m one… I have serious trust issues and insecurities. I know people have given up on me but that’s okay because the few that haven’t give me strength when I want to quit.

Yet I feel that this song has a deeper level. That it is about a deep love one person has for another and that there are times when you either have to let go or there is a separation for whatever reason be that a parent – child relationship, a sibling relationship, friend or partner relationship.

That kind of love is deep, it is protective as well as nurturing and accepting. That kind of love will do anything to protect when they see the person they love hurt. It will give hope and make them want to stop the one they love from making the wrong decisions, knowing that all they can do is give advice and hope the right decision is made. And when the wrong decision is made be there to pick up the pieces.

Some siblings are so close they know each other so well that they can see and feel what the other is going through. They don’t want their brother or sister to be hurt and so that deep love that is protective kicks in and if they see their sibling making the wrong decision they will want to stop them. They will worry about them until they know that they’re okay. But they will love them, wait and when needed be there to pick up the pieces.

Friends are the same. I have friends that are close and when I don’t hear from them I wonder what’s going on? Are they okay? I don’t worry about them to the point I can’t sleep, but I reckon if I had a really, close relationship with them, then I would. I know that there have been times when talking to them and they’ve said things, and I think that’s not going end up being good for you, yet all you can do is tell them what you think and stand back, wait for the fall out and pick up the pieces.

Marriages and relationships fail sometimes. Yet often the couple still love each other deeply and they worry about the other person even if they are no longer together. Or they may be separated by distance because one lives or works in another country. They may chat every day but if the internet is down or there’s a disaster of some kind and they don’t hear from them. Then they worry, what’s going on? Are they alright? And they can’t sleep until they know they’re okay.

Then I watched the video. Thanks heaps, it set of so many triggers. I had flashbacks, but I was able, to not let the flashbacks pull me back too far, which I think is great. It shows I’m healing. I’m allowing myself to feel emotions which by the way suck sometimes, but I’m also liking the nicer ones.

But why does it stir so much in me? Probably because I can sense and feel the depth of emotion and love that he has for his sister and that resonates, because I am learning about that depth of love and understanding that emotion I can sense through the song is the feeling, the emotion that goes with it, which for me is quite intense.

I also read some reviews that were critical of him and read others that talked about him having a breakdown and I thought you know what, this social world of the internet will always have haters and critics, but for a person who writes, be it songs, books or articles, what they write, isn’t for the majority, of the world, although that would be good if everybody liked what you wrote or sang, but it is for the one.

The one person that you touch, that what you say or sing makes a difference, helps them in some way, that is what matters to writers and singers.

I think if James Arthur can stay humble and not fall into the glorification of fame, or let himself get too overwhelmed again, he’s got a great message of hope and overcoming obstacles that he can share with the world.

 

I Didn’t Realise I was old.

You’re getting old’ a very nearly excommunicated friend told me. Why? Because I’m over 50. The fact that she’s 49 is beside the point.

That’s exciting’ she continued.

I’m intrigued. ‘How so?’

Well, you’ll be able to go on cruises, travel and take it easy. Life will be smooth sailing, no worries, no problems, I can’t wait till I get old.’

I learnt that her view of old age was the pictures she sees in the magazines and papers. You know the ones, older people lying on deck chairs, playing tennis, taking photos of places they’ve visited yet getting old is not that fantastic.

Don’t get me wrong. I’d love to travel and not care what people think of me, but age is what society has determined. We know this because of the latest viewpoint going around – you know – the forties are the new twenties, the fifties the new thirties, the sixties the new forties and so on. This shows that when once society viewed a person as being old when they hit over their sixties, they now see people as old when they hit their forties. Heck, at one time a child was not an adult until they were 21, now it is 27.

I know people who are ‘Old’ in their twenties and I know old people who are ‘Young’ in their seventies. I know 60 plus year olds who go kite surfing, travel the world, go scuba diving, dancing they try new things – society says they’re old but their brain and body is still very young. I know 18 year olds that should be out partying, being reckless because of their age, yet they sit at home watching DVD’s, knitting and talking about politics.

Society does not like to talk about the elderly. Where possible, society ignores them, they don’t talk about the issues facing those getting old because that means having to admit that there is a problem. Getting older is not the most fantastic thing. I don’t enjoy my hair going grey and having to get it dyed every three weeks, still, maybe that’s how I can earn some money, invest in the company that makes hair dye.

Nor do I enjoy the aches and pains. It really is harder to get up in the morning these days. And I don’t follow the normal pattern of arthritis which took a year to figure out I had. Older people complain about how their arthritis is worse during the colder months, mine is worse during the summer months.

Then there are the diseases that the elderly can get, the dementia, the cancers, the heart attacks and the discrimination. Yet all these things which are seen as ‘Old people’ problems affect the young as well. There are people in their twenties and thirties that have dementia. There is so much cancer around affecting even toddlers, it’s scary and young people have heart attacks now, which was never seen decades ago.

Diseases don’t listen to society’s viewpoint. They don’t discriminate and yes some of it is because of lifestyle choices, but some of it isn’t. Life can be hard. Abuse, conflict, war and disease – all these things have an effect on the person’s body, mind and emotions.

Some people have to deal with more issues than others, and sometimes that is through a personal choice, but sometimes it through another’s choice. But we all have a past, and the thing about getting older is that sure you make mistakes, but have you learnt from your mistakes?

Society shouldn’t look at age as in a number. Age is in reality timeless, but if one is going to look at a person who’s old, then maybe it should be based on how the body copes, with the ravages of time, and what life has thrown at that person.

Society seems to be swinging all over the place as to what it accepts and doesn’t accept as being representative of the whole. Society likes to be politically correct, so much so, maybe we should get rid of the terms like baby, toddler, young, teen, middle aged, old and elderly.

We, as society would then be very politically correct, but then if we have nothing to distinguish the age of people, then we have just de-humanised humanity even further.

There are programs now where people are pushing for mature age workers to be considered because of their skills and what they can teach the younger generation. For example: a 70 year old gay person, is not going to shock a teenager with that revelation, yet when that 70 year old was young, it was an illegal act. What will shock a teenager though, is that there were no mobile phones, no televisions and no Internet.

Maybe society should go back to basics. People are born – that never changes. People grow up – that never changes. People die – that never changes. What changes is technology and advances in research which aids in humanity’s ability to live to a longer age.

Let’s get rid of age defining attitudes. Life is a journey from the day one is born until the day one dies, be that a short or a long time on this earth. Live the best you can. Treat others well. Leave a legacy that will have people talking, even if that is just your family.

The Instructions of Life

Signs, labels, instructions. Everywhere you look, there are signs of some description, telling you what you can and cannot do. They are on the streets telling us where we can and cannot park, and for how long, when to stop and give way and the speed limit, although for some people these are just suggestions.

They are on our food. Warnings about the contents, directions on how to cook. They are on our clothes telling us how to clean them. And they are in booklets instructions of how to put something together or how to use something that you have just bought.

And anyone who has tried to put a flat pack object together knows it’s less stress to just pay someone to do it. It seems like a good idea at the time. Get it, put it together, it’s quick and easy…Not.

First you have to make sure that you have all the parts and haven’t lost any. The you have to translate the instructions from English into some sort of intelligible English. Sometimes you have to reverse the instructions given, in order to complete the task. And then you have to allow way more time than you think because it will take longer than what is said in the instructions. Yep, way easier to get someone else to do it.

And the Do’s and Dont’s in instruction booklets and on clothes. The thing is when warnings are given, when the instruction booklet says ‘Don’t’ that is because someone, somewhere has, in all probability, done exactly that and probably been hurt in the process. And so the manufacturer has included it in the warnings.

But some of the instructions leave me shaking my head. I read it and then read it again because I’m sure I’ve misread it. But no what I’ve read is correct. I get that we need warnings and some of it is or should be common-sense.

People should know that water and electricity don’t mix so don’t spill liquids on to the power board. But there are some things where you just say to yourself – Really, who would do that? And then you realise that someone, somewhere, must have, because some of the instructions are so bizarre.

Take the warning on a baby’s jumpsuit. Take baby out of clothing before washing…. Who would not take the baby out of the jumpsuit, or any form of clothing, before throwing the clothes in to be washed. I would’ve thought that was common-sense but apparently not.

At a holiday home one of the instructions said…. Do not encourage the chickens. Anyone else have a visual of people giving the chickens a pep talk, some motivation so they don’t get too depressed. No… no one else sees chickens with self confidence issuesit must be just me.

Another said… The owners take no responsibility for the disruption of the holiday caused by flora and fauna. I get the fauna especially in Australia, our wildlife will try to kill you. That look of cuteness is just a ruse. But the flora.. short of walking through a field of stinging nettles or to close to a rose bush, what can a flower do. It’s not like it’s going to invade your cabin.

But how about the instructions found

On an iron…Do not iron clothes on body.

On superman costume…Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.

On a chain saw…Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals…and I’m leaving that one well alone, but really, who? what? really!!

In a microwave manual…Do not dry pet in microwave.

On a toilet brush…do not use orally. Ok, who tried to do that. Is your mouth really that big?

On a blow torch…Not used for drying hair

The list goes on and on and on. There are so many that I have to wonder have humans really become that stupid. Whatever happened to common-sense? I have no idea but apparently we need to be protected against our own stupidity.

Children are Impossible

‘Children have changed so much today. They are impossible. They have no respect for anyone. Not like in my day’ was what I heard recently. Another person said ‘Children have changed from generation to generation and will continue to do so.’

This is the general idea isn’t it though? That children have changed and yet I beg to differ. I don’t think that children have changed at all. But society has. Society has changed over time with its expectations on how people are supposed to behave.

Let’s look at a child. No matter where you look in history. Children are first of all born. Even Jesus was born as a child. When children are born the only need they have is ‘Feed me, change me and hold me.’ They don’t care what’s happening in the world, it’s all about them and so it should be, seeing as they can’t feed themselves or change themselves.

A child has no preconceived ideas about people or biases when they are born, They are born innocent and vulnerable. They have no trust issues or hatred in their heart. That has not changed at all throughout history.

It is only as they grow that they learn from those around them. They learn their parents likes, dislikes and biases and when they go to school, they learn from other kids who have learnt from their home lives the likes, dislikes and biases of their parents. So when a child makes comments about another person they had to learn that from somewhere. It is from parents and family that a child first learns to hate or to love their fellow man.

What has changed is society’s expectations. There used to be a time when a child was punished for violating the house rules. Sometimes that punishment was too extreme but today, parents are not allowed to hit their kids, and if they punish the child by grounding them, or taking away their mobile, then the parents run the risk of being sued by the child.

It is the foundational start that the child has, that sets up his or her belief system, that then guides or misguides them as they try to navigate through life. That belief system comes first from their parents, then family, then school and later life.

What has changed is parents want their children to have the best of everything so that they are not alienated by their friends but what that teaches them is – I want, I get – but unfortunately, that doesn’t work in the real world.

Schools give all the children participation ribbons on sports day so that they feel inclusive and everyone feels equal, everyone is a winner. But that doesn’t teach them that the world is not equal. That sometimes in the game of life, they are going to lose a few rounds, but they haven’t been taught how to deal with losing.

Schools make sure they’re food friendly for those with nut and other food allergies. Creating a safe environment. Commendable but doesn’t teach the child how to deal with the work place when the boss doesn’t care about allergies.

The same with schools having a ‘Friend’ chair so that if a student is lonely they sit on it and the other children are encouraged to include them in their group. It doesn’t teach children that there is no ‘Friend’ chair in the real world. Some people just aren’t going to like you.

And no more clapping because some children have sensitive hearing. The world is a noisy place it’s better to deal with that at school because the world isn’t going to quieten down just because someone has sensitive hearing.

Teachers now want the children to call them by their first name so that the children feel closer to them, that they are their friend. That doesn’t teach them respect. Teachers are not supposed to be their friend, they’re supposed to teach.

Have children changed? Yes

Are they more aggressive, demanding and spoilt? Yes, some are.

Are they ruder and disrespectful? Yes, some are.

And there in is the answer. Some are, but some are not. How can that be so, if it is children, that have changed?

The answer is that it isn’t children that have changed. It is society. Society is very good at telling children what their rights are but not very good at telling them what their responsibilities are.

Society’s lowering of standards in regard to respect for their elders and their parents and other figures in authority. Society has lowed its expectations of politeness. Society needs to take some responsibility for setting children up to unrealistic expectations without helping to give them coping skills for when it doesn’t work out.

Throughout history it has been, and is a balancing act that keeps swinging from one extreme to the other. The pendulum is swinging back again as society tries to reinstate some values. Children don’t change, they don’t come with a manual when they are born but they are raised by the parents values and beliefs.

Children need to be valued, loved and have their self esteem built up as this is what helps them to become productive members of society. But that needs to be balanced with rights and responsibilities so that they learn coping skills when things don’t go according to plans.