I have a regular good old ding-dong (London-speak for heated discussion) with one of the lads on my bus. He’s a challenged, disadvantaged kid with little going for him. Some mornings he finishes his breakfast of Red Bull and cigarette by tossing the can onto an area of littered grass and mud outside the run-down block of flats where he lives. The can then adds to an accidental collage of fast-food wrappers, dog excrement and an eclectic sprinkling of marketing driven “packaging”.
He then inhales deeply on his cigarette, grinds the stub into the road, clears his tortured lungs, spits theatrically and boards the bus. Many a time, me being a judgemental bourgeois old cow/Romantic Novelist, I chide him for his conduct. OOOOOh ! I do hate litter. He shrugs and says “Whatever – so what eh?”
I ponder this matter quite often. Yesterday a bus job came up that involved me picking up some folks from a pre-school. Bright little souls aged between 3 and 5 with their parents were waiting outside the school to board the bus. Opposite the entrance there was a dilapidated housing block, awaiting refurbishment. It has been a long wait and I guess it could be a lot longer yet. The picture above is the view that these kids were looking at. Maybe we should think about how the seeds and attitudes will grow.
Emma thinx: By the eyes of the child arrives the vision of the man.