Hard hearts and hard times
parents who if their children were hungry would give them a stone to eat. There
are parents who think that providing for their children means looking after
them like animals eg. giving them shelter and food. Such parents see their
offspring as burdens and the whole of their childrens’ lives are blighted due a
distinct lack of love.
Hard hearts are
aplenty in the weird (and less wonderful) world of parenting. Some people are
just incapable of it and perhaps society is starting to understand as
legislation in the UK is making emotional abuse a criminal act. Too little, too
late is my take on the naievete of law makers who believe that emotional pain
was ever absent from physical and sexual abuses to children.
The game plan
for an abuser is to destroy a child’s self esteem and this is done in several
ways. The most basic and cruel way is to not be tactile and affectionate. There
are no hugs, kisses or kindnesses so grains of fear and mistrust are planted in
an innocent heart. The child, whose emotional circuitry is set by the age of
five, then sees himself as unlovable and displays these symptoms in a myriad of
ways. Some become withdrawn , some become boisterous and some are at the start
of their bi-polar journey from which they don’t often recover.
compromises the full development of a child’s intellectual abilities. A child
who receives little or no loving attention will not value themselves enough to
succeed at school. They already suffer from feelings of inadequacy and
despondency so what’s the point of trying to be good at anything? Prisons are
full of felons with low academic ability and there’s a direct correlation between
a lack of parental interest and becoming a societal cause for concern.
Parents need to
take a long hard look at themselves. They need help and certainly every parent
should be compelled to take a parenting courses to understand the proper care
and feeding of babies, toddlers, teenagers. A parent needs to know how to feed
minds and nourish hearts as this is the only way to create well rounded individuals. The body should not
be cosseted at the expense of the mind.
Bringing up a
child requires inspiration and dedication and to pass on such qualities,
parents themselves need to know how. Leaving your child playing for hours on
their play station is not the way to do it. Allowing children to spend hours
holed up in their bedrooms on mobile phones/social media is not the way to do
it. Trying to be your child’s friend and giving in to every childish demand is
not the way to do it. Not showing your child that there are
rewards/consequences for good/poor behaviour is not the way to do it. Being a weak role model is not the way to do
it. Not saying “no” to your child because you fear them is not the way to do
perspiration and if you want to reduce your body odour then keep a check on
your baby-making equipment. Take precautions, be selfish and leave parenting to
those energetic souls who can take the heat and stay in the kitchen. Not
everyone is cut out for parenting just as not everyone is cut out for space
If we don’t
apply strict controls on who sign up for
parenting then we are going to have to deal with the aftermath and that means
an ever increasing prison population. We don’t need to build more prisons if we
build better parents.
If the hand that
rocks the cradle rules the world then the cradle’s contents has seen the fist
and suffered the effects of bruises and black eyes. Young hearts stained with
neglect and pain develop into young adulthood making poor life choices. The
girl who marries to get away from her parents only to find that she’s married a
man in a similar vein. The boy who gets into the grip of substance addiction or
indulges in abuse himself since he doesn’t want to or can’t do any better.
Low ambition and
insecurity dog the footsteps of the unloved. A law to out emotional abusers is
too little and too late for those of us who now purporting to be effective role
models, pillars of the community and politicians. The law must not only dole
out suitable punishments to abusers but supporting the victims is even more
can’t be changed by law but bringing them to book might make them think.
Schools, doctors and the police must lead the crusade for better treatment of
children by paying attention to anti-social behaviour. Many a teacher can also
abuse and the government must root out those who are not fit for purpose.
beget hard times and that’s not good enough for any child. A child’s heart is
marshmallow soft and spirit even more fragile. A child cannot make sense of the
environment its born into and is prone to emotional disturbance. If a child
lives without emotional protection then every fairy story is a lie because
there is no triumph over evil and certainly no happy-ever-after.
An Empire State of Mind
Having recently returned from my first ever transatlantic
crossing to the Big Apple I can now evaluate the experience.
The sights are as spectacular as its written about in all the
best guide books but here’s my take:
Grand Central station – exquisite architecture for a railway
New York Public architecture – grandiose and magnificent
spectacle on 5th Avenue
9//11 Memorial – water fountains now mark the spot surrounded
by plaques where the names of those who perished are inscribed. A poignant
reminder of the dark side of human nature.
Battery Park – covered in snow
Skyscrapers – lots of them so don’t break your neck looking
Empire State – the view from the 86th floor is not
Times Square – aaah the bright lights and David Beckham
running around advertising his undies!
Statue of Liberty –
the lady with the torch and the book. Apparently, Mr Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower
fame) had to be draughted in to build the structure. It was a clear day with so
the lady looked great framed in blue.
Shops: 5th Avenue & Macy’s will delight those
bargain hunters and if you’re from across the pond….they’re irresistible! Love
the 50% & 75 % off everything sales.
Eateries: plentiful and cheap. Some exotic finds were giant
pretzels and Kronuts
New York, New York –
so good they named it twice! Hmmm…..to my Asian-European eyes, my particular
area of interest is the immigrant experience. After all, surely America grew up
to be the super power it is based on that hardworking bunch……so….. they may
have a thing or two to teach other nations.
Surely they do but not all of it good. Those poor souls who
arrived on Ellis Island were the ne-er do wells and lesser fortunate emigres looking for opportunity and adventure. Perhaps
the combined vision of so many peoples, cultures and languages was a little
skewed and so the establishment of a new order brought more controversy than
New York is not so much as melting pot but more of a giant
frittata – it’s a bit of this and a bit of that. This amalgamation of cultures
has created a diversified dilemma: how do you preserve unique cultures and
human rights whilst building a country? You don’t…….America’s success is based
upon a survival…the survival of the fittest…..and the fight to be top dog.
Irish, Italian, Jewish, African, Chinese, Russian –New York
is all of this and more. In this helter-skelter new world, the gun was mightier
than the pen and it was every man for himself. America may be wealthy but its
heart has been ripped out. America suffers from a cultural inferirority complex
due to its dubious roots. Slavery and its legacy is the permanent blot on the
landscape and third generation African-Americans wear a haunted look.
New Yorkers, as I observed during my brief soujourn, appear
to have frozen facial muscles. If you’re expecting a warm welcome,
beware……smiles are not forthcoming and politeness may be going out of fashion……except
on Fifth Avenue. “Please” and “Thank you” are mostly heard only when spending
copious amounts of dollars and I don’t recall too many people saying: “Have a
America is a conundrum that the British relinquished after
much bloodshed. It was a beast that couldn’t be tamed and wanted its freedom
and independence. Once freedom from the rulers was obtained they appeared to be
reluctant to abolish slavery until Mr Lincoln declared all out war on this
America did put the first man on the moon and that was an
awesome feat along with its other technological developments but it must help
improve and care for Mother Earth. Reducing
pollution and recycling its garbage would be a great initiative and I didn’t
notice a lot of that.
Big countries have big problems and, with Obama, at the helm
there will be progress but the one who follows him will have a tough act to
Every American is not born equal since not everyone’s driving
a Cadillac! But every American is born into a gun culture and with no free
medical care if you happen to get in the way of stray bullets. Human dignity is
a concept that requires interpretation for our bretheren across the pond: the
right to be human and be valued and accepted in spite of our human frailties.
It’s a global work-in-progress and every country has “could do better” on its
A truly empire state of mind remembers and cares for the
impoverished and downtrodden. I was surprised to see TV ads asking for funds for ex-military personnel who have been maimed in global conflict. Every tax paying US citizen must carry the burden of military action or America needs to re-think its foreign policy...and stay out!
You may throw money at the problem but it’s not
a long term solution. America (and the rest of the world) needs to refresh its
thinking and strive to make hearts and
minds as rich as their tax havens……and that’s a state I can relate to.
Labels: World view