Search This Blog

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Game of two halves

Today I have seen both the best of human nature, and a rather ugly side to it in the short space of a matter of hours.
Life is often like that.
The dark cloud with the silver lining.
Or if you are the glass half full sort then that would be the silver lining with the dark cloud.
It is the yin and yang of existence.
Wherever sunlight falls a shadow will always surely accompany it.
It really is quite simply the natural order of things.

The best was when I visited Sunny Govan radio station.
It is a project that has been fifteen years in the making, and the positive opportunities that it provides to Govan as a community, and Glasgow as a whole, cannot be quantified.
That they have literally saved lives is something that they probably wouldn't claim to have done, but they have.

They very obviously have.

With their open door policy they have taken people from a socially deprived area and thrown them a lifeline.

It is something they do daily.

A lifeline that has led to employment, that has laid a foundation for strong family units to be build from, that has allowed those with substance abuse issues to find some worth in their life, and one that is there for anyone no matter what creed, colour, age, gender or sexual orientation they are.

It's a rather humbling experience to sit within the casual buzz and see first hand what is happening.
I was there to discuss business, but as I left my over all impression was that I had just had a welcome respite from the rush of life.
Just spending time with those who run the station, who volunteer there, and those who avail themselves of the help that is offered recharged my batteries to an extent.
With so much negativity being the cornerstone of our media it was a welcome break to be able to see first hand that there are still people out there who are willing to offer a hand to those who have fallen, or are on the edge and need guided away from it.

To say that I was impressed wouldn't really cover it.

Unfortunately the buoyant mood that they instilled in me didn't last too long as the behaviour of four young girls travelling from Glasgow to Kilmarnock effortlessly stripped away much of the feel good factor from the day.

While waiting along with other commuters I was surprised, and then slightly disappointed, to see them step past everyone waiting in line and position themselves so that they could be first to board the train.
The sense of entitlement they had was very obvious, and as I was standing right next to them I could tell that they found it all rather amusing.
This wasn't a case of them just being oblivious to what they were doing.

As we all do I stood there in an uncomfortable silence waiting for someone else to say something.
Then I heard a voice, my own, say 'excuse me, but people have been waiting here for the train.'
The response was some giggling and shared smirks.
By now I really didn't see any point in letting it slide so I asked if they thought it was acceptable to just walk to the front of the line.
More smirking and then the red headed one said without looking at me 'fuck off'.

Charming eh?

More smirking and giggling commenced.

By now I would say that all the adults in close proximity were holding their breath and silently willing me to say or do something.
Here was that moment when their long haul home of a night could culminate in a victory against all the arrogantly rude public transport users who fail to acknowledge that they are not in fact the center of the universe.

That wasn't to be though as what can you really say to children?
You can't rage at them.
You can't in no uncertain terms, and with colourful language, admonish them until the tears flow.
You can't beat them with a stick.

So instead I kept it calm and asked if they were proud of themselves.
At another muttered curse I was reminded of the 'you filthy fuckin' rotter' moment from the Pistols.
Here I was the face of the adult world being given the finger.
I asked if she kissed her mother with that mouth and that seemed to dent their confidence slightly, but I wasn't personally willing to go further than that.

On the train I read a book and in the background they stage whispered about what they could have said, and what they would say.
It was all rather pathetic, but I couldn't help but think how their sharp tongues would feel if they were to direct their ire towards a peer.
It was something that was very easily imaginable.
Under the carefully applied make up and teased hair there was an ugliness about them.
These are the girls who take pleasure from demolishing the confidence of others, whose sense of worth is tied into making others unhappy.
I'm not guessing that they are like that.
They were unashamedly broadcasting it to the carriage.

On stepping off the train in Kilmarnock they followed me down the platform, and then as they began to wander off in another direction one peeled of from the groups and shouted that I was a wanker.

I really want to make it clear here that these kids were not from any of the schemes in Kilmarnock.
These were the children of your middle class families.
The shouting that I was a wanker was done very confidently.
Safe in the knowledge that my options to respond were limited she was enjoying creating some drama.
She followed that on with loudly asking something along the lines of if I got a kick from harassing young girls in an attempt to paint me as some predatory weirdo.
I really felt that I would have to say something in reply so I clearly and calmly pointed out that I had neither sworn, or raised my voice at them, and the saddest part of this was that none of the four were apparently ashamed with the behaviour of their friends.
Of course I added that their parents must be very proud of them.

That was really it, but I can't help wondering about how much misery these children have caused, and will go on to be responsible for.
They all appeared to get a great deal of enjoyment out of being......well arseholes really.
They were like the tween faction of the Bullingdon club.

I hope in some weird twist of fate that one of the girls parents is reading this - it was the 6.12 from Central to Kilmarnock by the way - and recognizes that it was their daughter.

Maybe they could discuss with them where they are going wrong.

Barring that they could point them in the direction of the young conservatives where they would no doubt feel at home.

I would take the company of the good people of Govan, with all their issues they carry, over the company of these four, as the people of Govan have far more compassion and empathy than they could muster between them. 

No comments:

Post a Comment