I got SOAKED today on my way back from college. A car not unlike the one in the picture above splashed me. I had a little umbrella, but not much of a defense.
I lost count of how many people drove past me before and after my soaking, as I plodded back to my house in the downpour.
Everyone was laughing in the bus station in Stockport as we jumped onto the bus like penguins in single file to keep as dry as possible, but the journey from bus stop to my house was not a pleasant one.
I had a flashback to my friend Ivy’s 90th birthday party as I peered over my shoulder to glimpse the warm drivers’ faces as they sped past. The man who had sat on my right at the dinner party had spoken to me about the deeper things in life, how times had changed, philosophy and politics. It was a good chat, and the ultimate conclusion we tragically came to was that in his youth it were possible to buy your neighbour’s son/daughter an ice-cream if the van came and the parents were out, or to take someone to a football match – to drive someone home in the windy rain. That is no longer so simple, as our paranoid society grows ever more self-obsessed and “politically correct”.
We are in many ways so much better than we were several decades ago. But we have also fallen. Will there be a day at my 90th birthday party when I can turn to the teenage boy on my left, and tell him how in my youth it was not possible to buy your neighbour’s son/daughter an ice-cream if the van came and the parents were out, or to take someone to a football match – to drive someone home in the windy rain, but that in his youth all those things are now possible, with a loving society growing and a peaceful united world being realised?
I hope so.