David Cameron was on the news this morning talking about the ‘Big Society’. It’s his idea for helping Britain limp out of the mess we’re in from having led over stuffed lives without true regard for the consequences.
I never voted Tory but he does have a point in saying ‘everyone is going to have to do more for less’. Let’s face it, that’s the only way to economise – we should know – we’ve been doing it for years having survived on one low income whilst we home educated. But home educating taught us many things we weren’t expecting and one of those was about responsibility. That in fact, we, all of us parents, are responsible for our children’s education. It’s just that mostly we hand that responsibility over to schools. BUT it’s still parents who are ultimately responsible.
And it illustrates the point which I think Cameron is trying to make; we have been shunting many of our responsibilities as a society over to institutions simply because those institutions are there, and withdrawing our accountability in the process. We need to face up to those responsibilities.
We should be more responsible for our kids. We should be more responsible for our waste and stop making it, and our energy use and stop wasting it on ever running technology. We should be more responsible for our own health instead of frittering it away with over indulgent lifestyles, abusing our bodies and what we put in them, then expecting the NHS to sort it out. We should be more responsible for our young people and our elderly. We should be more responsible with energy, water, food, the environment, all of which we enjoy but otherwise take for granted.
I get hacked off with folks going on about school buildings when you can have an inspiring education in a shed if the right people are involved; look at what they achieve in poor countries. And who minds a bucket to catch a drip – we lived with one for years. It didn’t harm the kids’ education at all because they were loved and attended to! They still learnt what was important.
We live in this wealthy country. We’ve enjoyed its support. Most of us give little back. Whether it’s Cameron suggesting it or not, it’s time for that to change.