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When will we grow up in T&T?
Looking at two presenters on the 7 o’clock TV news this week commenting on how inconsiderate some people are in parking in a handicapped slot, I wish to go beyond their obvious disapproval. Most of such people are not in fact inconsiderate but are simply unaware of the concept of being handicapped and this is no exaggeration!
Such offenders often do not look for or recognise the sign, and if even they did, they lack that sense of civic duty to reserve the park for the handicapped. But this is far from being an isolated situation.
In fact, it is a symptom of a deeper malaise in the society where many of us are not conditioned in our thinking to value these little do’s and don’ts, in this instance, respecting the handicapped,and in others, such as smoking in unlikely places or littering, or playing loud music in public, or crossing on a green light, or breaking the line, or tailgating slow pokes or parking on a walkway as the same presenters pointed out at the airport in today’s news, or as in hundreds of other like situations.
Perhaps this has to do with our upbringing in the home, but if even this may apply to some families, shouldn’t we have been exposed to some kind of schooling which would have positively impacted these values on our thinking? Or was there lack in this area also?
Or can I go further to suggest that it is part of our psychology as Third World peoples to be substandard in our behaviours as is expected of us, when compared to the more progressive societies where it would be unthinkable to park in a handicapped slot, or litter, or play loud music inter alia , considering the kind of pressure which will come our way from a very civic-minded public.
Further, from the deliberate manner in which some of these violations are committed, is this some kind of machoism, some kind of misplaced bravado, associated with underdeveloped peoples seeking to “big up” themselves so as to fill a psychological void?
Whatever the explanation, when will we grow up as a people and learn that we should not park in a handicapped slot? When will the national character begin to change for the better for this is what is involved in these seemingly innocuous violations.
Dr Errol Benjamin
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