By Andrew Klein
I have often asked myself how easily some dismiss the genuine suffering of others, not only because we hear the words “The Others” which in some instant magical way reduces the duty of care or merely the act of being a decent human being to an act that can be balanced by adding figures and financial worth of those concerned.
I find myself thinking about a way of life, a society that measures the value of another by their ability of being seen as an individual; capable of spending monies that in the long term buy no more than short term consumer items.
One can walk through the shopping isles dedicated to the youngest among consumers, or those that will be shaped into ‘Consumer Hood‘ not because being a consumer has any particular merit but parents and those that render love and care to the very young are compelled to make a public offering that provides proof to those that may question the level of non-consumer items that have been provided.
There is almost a pernicious and cunning approach that finds those that provide unquestioning love and affection as carers and parents being forced into spending money or acquiring debt to publicly prove that. Goods that need not be branded with ‘child’ friendly logo find themselves carefully replaced by similar items but marketed with brands that for marketing reasons display all manner of figures or linked with the latest fashions or products.
Of course items such as Band-Aids or shampoo remain the same yet they now find their way into the shopping trolley or bag. How does one value the true worth of a parents or care givers love for a child or one that needs such timeless and priceless affection? Of course it is not possible to put a price on such things at any point in time and by making this an issue, we create no more than future consumers that very often have failed to appreciate the real value of those things that matter and build up a powerful drive to own and possess that which appears to be public proof of those things that are perceived as having some inherent value where in reality their true worth is limited to the ability to render financial returns to those that understand the various marketing and shopping models.
I may not be a great observer of these events but I have seen enough to understand the frustrated look on the face of a parent or carer. The howling of a child convinced that a water bottle with the latest movie motive being regarded as an essential for survival.
Maybe I am getting old and grumpy; this is very possible indeed but I have also observed those that have to manage their financial budget to cope with a world that often cares very little for the turmoil that is created in the well filled alleys that parents must pass through to get to a checkout, where once again they are faced with products designed to tempt younger minds that as yet do not understand the challenge that parents may be facing trying to balance their budgets living from pay day to the next.
The percentages are there for the asking, the marketing of goods being an art form.
Those that attempt to bring up children that have a future in a harsh and ever more expensive world must face many a sleepless night; raising a child in a world like ours is not always easy and many of the problems faced are not limited to any particular part of the world as we share a very Global World.
I know that governments love to bandy around statistics with the abandon of young lovers frolicking in the grass, the ink on one report barely dry before another is prepared. In hindsight, I question much of that which has been created and is encouraged. I see young families managing and often struggling; I am often amazed by the level of care and love that is displayed by those that are facing the hardest of times. None of this has anything of a ‘B’ Grade TV show about it but seems more like an ‘A’ Grade disaster pending.
With all that is done and worse, that which is left undone for many reasons I sit here and wonder if a day will come when governments take people seriously and parents and or carers will find an understanding ear when it comes to the cost of raising children and caring for those that need more than platitudes .
It would be of interest to see a government form with the words; “Payment for Services Rendered” laid out in a user friendly manner.
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