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3:06pm on Wednesday, 7th November, 2018:

Live and Learn


I went to Colchester this morning to buy a new W H Smith's diary for next year (operation successful) and in the space of half an hour witnessed three examples of, well, I'm not sure what.

Example 1: A police vehicle is coming through the middle of two lines of traffic, lights flashing. We all pull over to the side of the road to let it through. One vehicle doesn't and blocks its progress. That vehicle is an ambulance.

Example 2: A woman in a motorised wheelchair stops. She chats to the man she's with, on her left. Without warning, she suddenly rotates the chair 180 degrees clockwise. Actually, she only makes 90 degrees before she has to stop because by rotating she's taken out one of the crutches being used by a passer-by on her right.

Example 3: A rough sleeper attempts to engage a woman in conversation. She ignores him but he persists, so she walks away. She is selling copies of The Big Issue.

In all three cases, people who normally expect others to account for their needs did not afford the same courtesy to others who have related needs. It's as if they're so used to being treated as exceptions that they haven't absorbed the very lesson that they rely on others to have absorbed, namely that there are occasions when people need to be treated as exceptions.

At least the poppy sellers were all wearing poppies.

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Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).