I know my rights

It seems that people these days are far more aware of their rights and appear to be prepared to be vocal in their expression of their rights. People know their legal rights as householders, parents, consumers even as sports fans, which you would think can only be a good thing as knowledge is a strength and a virtue.

It’s such a shame that so many of the people who claim to know their rights unfortunately don’t seem to know their responsibilities.

We often hear of parents being very assertive when broaching the subject of little Johnnys educational shortcomings with his teachers, the parents claim they know their rights and assert that it is the teachers responsibility to educate little Johnny, which of course is true, however don’t the parents also realise that they have a responsibility to provide educational support, listen to him reading, helping with his home work and even ensuring that little Johnny actually turns up for school in the first place and isn’t sat at home on his xBox.

Then we have the consumers, we’ve all come across people who know their consumer rights and return goods especially clothes after they’ve worn them once, some people even manage to conceal the labels that they have left attached in the full knowledge that they will be taking the item of clothing back after the weekend.

Then there are the consumers who return electrical goods after failing to read the accompanying ‘Getting Started’ leaflet before they plough straight in with what ever new gadget or device they’ve just bought.

Strangest of all are the sport fans, they’ve paid their ticket money and that entitles them to shout out their (often ill-informed) opinions if things are not going their way, after all they paid to get in and they are entitled to voice their opinion and woe betide anyone who dares to offer alternative opinions or interpretations, in these circumstances those with the loudest opinion wins.

Well, how about showing a bit of sportsmanship (oh sorry I forgot you are not sportsmen), or perhaps showing a bit of support for you own team during a difficult period, is that really too much to ask.

There also seems to be quite a strong correlation between those that ‘know their rights’ and the inability to accept that there may be alternative opinions, or even being able to accept the disgraceful ‘C’ word, yes Compromise!

With the rise of social media more people are able to express their opinions without any thought regarding possible consequences. Only this week I’ve heard of a young sportsman still learning his skill having a complete loss of confidence after receiving criticism on twitter & facebook from his fan ‘friends’, no doubt they will suggest that it was just harmless banter on their part, oh really?

As children we don’t really have opinions or responsibilities, just likes and dislikes.

As we approach into adulthood then we start forming opinions and feel the need to express them, we also start to take on some small responsibilities, just look at your average University student to see this.

Once we are mature adults the responsibilities mount up and need to be acknowledged and accepted, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop having opinions, we all have opinions sometimes quite strong ones, it’s just that some of us realise that sometimes it is wiser to waive our right to express them and just keep them to ourselves.

PS. Is this post in any way ironic, perhaps it is after all I am offering an opinion. I guess if you really don’t like my opinions you are more than welcome to not read any more.

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Something to look forward to

We did something this week that that we haven’t done for some time, afterwards Jacqueline was visibly excited, even Rebecca our daughter remarked how excited Jacqueline was, so what was it that was so momentous ?

We booked a holiday abroad, I hear you thinking, is that all ?

Well in recent years we’ve tended to have short breaks away in the UK, and while they’ve all been enjoyable they’ve hardly been very adventurous. I used to always really look forward to holidays even in the UK, I would spend ages looking at maps and planning excursions, but that novelty has worn off, now we tend to just turn up at the destination and see whats there, so there really isn’t really any excitement from the anticipation.

We’ve booked to go on a tour of Switzerland taking in the delights of several locations and using the Swiss Rail service to get around including the famous Glacier Express. It’s something we’ve talked about doing but never done anything about, but this year we just said lets just do it, so we have. The result is that we’re both busy planning and anticipating the trip like we’ve not done for several years.

About 5 years ago we were at Chris Farlowe gig in Bury,  and we were saying that we didn’t know how long Chris could go on for and the number of opportunities to see artists like Chris were reducing after all they weren’t getting any younger, and then it struck me.

How much longer could we keep going to gigs ? we reckoned that 20 years would take us up to about 70, it was perhaps the first time that I really had some sort of measure of our own mortality. Needless to say we started booking gigs, theatre anything like crazy and as a result we’ve seen quite a lot in the past 5 years.

The upshot of this is that it is important to have something to look forward to, and you have to be pro-active in organising your leisure time, it’s too easy to let thing pass you by and before you know it time has flown by. In the words of Pink Floyd

And then the one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun

So if you have something you really want to do, stop procrastinating, get out there and  do it.

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Getting started

Boring first post on wordpress, don’t bother reading (oh, wait a minute you just have !).

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