The moors were quite busy this morning. Hardmoors runners, orienteers, mountain bikers, and plenty of folks out for a less energetic wander in the fresh air and solitude found on the moors.
And then the tranquility was shattered by the noise and smell of a pack of off-road motorcyclists.
Why do I get so incensed?
Is it a sign of age?
Is it just another manifestation of the lack of civic responsibility that is prevalent in today’s society?
The person who can’t be bothered to take that empty plastic bottle back to the litter bin in the car park.
That dog owners who leave little presents for the poo fairy to collect. Little presents that somehow become invisible to their eyes.
The driver who just ‘popped-in’ to the shop, parked on double yellow lines, hazard lights flashing — to hell with everybody else.
Fly-tipping. Getting drunk and filling up A&E.
There are a lot of things we do, that if we didn’t, we’d all be a lot better off.
There are also a lot of things we don’t do, but if we did, we’d all be better off.
Wearing masks? Getting vaccinated? Washing our hands after a visit to the loo? Voting? Keeping the noise down?
To some extent, we’re all selfish, self-centred and self-absorbed.
Perhaps we need a bit of “civic responsibility”. That concept of civic duty, personal responsibility, that seemed engrained in my parents’ generation. I’m not sure it is now? Perhaps it’s an age thing.
Civic duty is a phrase with an American ring to it. In the UK, we might term it the duty we have to each other. A responsibility, to be responsible.
During the height of Covid, washing hands, creating space, wearing a mask, staying at home, were all civic duties.
They were the responsible things to do. It was obvious. Nevertheless, it took laws to make us do them and even then it took enforcement, to make sure we did it. And some still ignored the laws, including now it turns out by those who made them.
Human nature can be altruistic yet selfish , generous but greedy. It can be a force of nature, worthy and kind, but we should be wary of too much reliance on the good.