A Shift in Perspective

Sitting on the floor with my son yesterday I realised quite how different the world looks to him. Sandwiched neatly between cupboard and island unit wall, the only things he could see were walls, drawer handles and oven doors. Is it really any wonder that he therefore plays with so many things I don’t want him to touch, when so much of my world is invisible to him?

It made me wonder just how much of the anger we direct at our children for their natural curiosity is both our own fault, and a simple selfishness on our part. Are we really annoyed that they want to repeat the same book 12 times in a row, or is it that there are other things we’d rather be doing? Is it that opening a cupboard door is genuinely dangerous – or that we are bored of telling them no? Of course, discipline is important – I just hear a lot of parents shouting at their children, myself included on occasion, and I wonder what causes such frustration. Needless to say this is written at a point in time where my little angel is behaving beautifully and not constantly interrupting me or sticking his fingers in electrical sockets or the cat’s water bowl (often at the same time) The frustration is easy to understand – but so is theirs, and I for one am guilty of forgetting quite how limited his outlook, both figurative and literal, is at this stage.

People can be very blinkered. The social internet has allowed everyone with something (or nothing) to say to have a voice, a ready audience. The desire to gather friends and followers may be a catalyst in the expression of those opinions – with even quarter of a point to make, it’s easier to shout those half-formed ideas from the e-rooftops, rather than perhaps thinking things through a little more.

And so, rather predictably perhaps, I return to the government. The coalition government. People who spent months (well, days anyway) lauding the fresh-faced hope of new kid on the political block Nick Clegg, with affectionate trending topics like “Long Legged Cleggy Weggy” top of the UK trending list for days at a time. Between the rock and hard place of Cameron and Brown, Clegg emerged as a genuine and credible alternative. People forgot that Lib Dem politics do not actually sit between those of Labour and Conservative, more slightly to one side, and followed his progress like the underdog on the X Factor.

And then the general election happened and suddenly the story changed. Clegg had let us down. He personally was responsible for the fickle nature of the voter; in the moment that they dithered between tradition and new hope, the safety of tradition won out and Clegg’s earnest conviction was not quite enough to swing the votes. Of course, people ignored the fact that their share of votes, and actual numbers, were higher than ever before. They also seemed to forget though that it wasn’t actually Clegg himself who neglected to vote for himself in greater numbers. But god forbid we the people bear any responsibility for our own actions.

Clegg’s transformation from angel to demon gained speed when suddenly the public cottoned onto the fact that he held the future of the country in his unelected and well-manicured hands. (The last is guesswork, I have never taken notice of the man’s cuticles) Protests abounded on all sides. It was unfair that LDs had fewer seats, it was unfair that the unelected Brown was clinging to power, and it was unfair that Cameron was winning /losing (depending on your political bias) It was unfair for a man insisting on a fairer voting system to have the final say in what happened in a government, when he was not elected into such a position of power. But the thing everyone got most outraged by was that he wanted to speak to both parties before making a decision.

It is ridiculous that everyone was up in arms about the fact that Clegg wanted to know what was on the table from both parties before making a decision. The same country bewailing the lack of facts, the lack of information before the election as they tried to decide which way to vote actually criticised this man, their fallen hero, for wanting to understand the situation fully before making his decision.

Of course, I am naive. To believe in any way that Clegg’s intentions were honourable, that he genuinely wanted what was best for the country demonstrates a childlike optimism, apparently. I am a fool to believe the best of people.

But until I have been in his situation, looking at the world from between a rock and a hard place, a cupboard and an island unit, with only the limited facilities at my fingertips to choose from, I think I might withhold judgement. I don’t want to tell him off too badly, when all he’s done is explore the world around him.


~ by DelightingintheDetail on May 18, 2010.

One Response to “A Shift in Perspective”

  1. Ah, but sometimes it is good to let off steam and have a rant online. Because, where else can you do it? And get away with it? šŸ˜€

    Another great blog! I’m forever telling off my kids, and then when they are asleep, like little angels, I feel so guilty about my anger and frustration. But sometimes they do have to learn what they’re not allowed to touch, for their own safety. And it is a mix sometimes of frustration that you’re repeating yourself over and over, and wondering why it’s not sinking in. But kids like exploring, so we have to try and encourage where they’re allowed to explore.

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