I’ve recently returned from a short break to Turin and although I’ve visited Italy on numerous occasions the endemic disregard for rules never fails to astound me. It made me think about what happens when people either ignore the law or view the rules with the sole purpose of finding loopholes rather than consider the social and moral consequences of their actions.
Technically there were no signs telling motorists not to park on pedestrian crossings so why not park across one? … Or two! Was it because these motorists had not considered the potential danger they were imposing on others, especially visually impaired pedestrians, or did they simply not care?
The saddest thing was that nobody (including me) made any comment to the drivers about their actions, I didn’t even observe any acknowledgement from anyone that the behaviour was unacceptable. Very often our silence makes us complicit.
It made me wonder what constitutes acceptable behaviour, where is the seemingly invisible line between what we will and will not allow to happen around us. With our environmental agencies stretched and under tight budgetary constraints anglers and surfers are increasingly being ‘forced’ to act as our pollution guardians. Not in my back yard (NIMBY) is routinely castigated as a selfish attitude, however, if we all viewed the planet as our back yard that attitude ceases to be selfish. Society functions at its optimum level when the population’s foremost consideration is how their own behaviour will impact their immediate surroundings and those around them.
The essential building block for that awareness has to be education, which in turn facilitates a shared pride and understanding of our environment. An old Greek Proverb seems to summarise things perfectly “a society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
Editor: Containment News, Flood News, Wireless eNews & LPRA eNews
Containment News May 2015