Now for anyone that reads my blog regularly this is not an unusual statement. I’m often confused. But it is through that confusion I use words to try and understand. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. What has me bamboozled this time? People.
I hear people complaining that the police aren’t doing enough. And then one police department comes up with an ingenious idea to catch people when they are texting while they drive. An officer rides the city bus and is able to look down into cars as he drives by. He then calls in the vehicle information. Gotcha! I think that is ingenious. People have become quite inventive at hiding their illegal activities. No, it is probably not stopping a murder or a sexual assault or even a terrorism attack but way too many people die from distracted driving.
No why would anyone be angry at the police for finding individuals committing an illegal activity? In one town the police tried to put up cameras at intersections to catch speeders. The uproar was incredible. Again, why? What are people doing that they don’t want others to know about? I have no issue with Big Brother watching me. If they can catch people doing illegal activities that put me at risk, I’m all for it. Watch away!
Nowadays everyone has a camera phone and way too many people like to take pictures of other people. Their concern is not the legality or even the morality of their picture. Rather it’s the YouTube value. That is so sad. Ever since the introduction of the Internet our sense of privacy has diminished significantly. There are cameras everywhere and most of them aren’t overseen by anyone or any laws. Well, laws that can be enforced.
In England, especially London, there are cameras everywhere controlled by the police. It is just amazing to watch how they can actually backtrack a criminal to his residence perhaps. Is it a perfect solution? Absolutely not! But as the criminal world becomes more inventive and as more supposedly law-abiding citizens try to circumvent the laws, perhaps that’s what we need.
Inside my apartment I have an expectation of privacy. Yes that camera on my computer does give me pause but I have the option to turn it off. When I’m on the street I’m in the public domain and while those that are charged with protecting me are not allowed to have all the tools at their fingertips, they do have some. I am also aware that any individual has the capability to film me without my knowing about it. That too gives me pause. Unfortunately I have no control over that. Just something to think about the next time you are in the public domain.
According to Wikipedia an entitlement is a guarantee of access to something, based on established rights or by legislation. A “right” is itself in entitlement associated with a moral or social principle based in concepts of social equality .In a casual sense, the term “entitlement” refers to a notion or belief that one has a right to some particular reward or benefit—if given without deeper legal or principled cause, the term is often given with pejorative connotation (e.g. a “sense of entitlement”).
Now at its core entitlement is a good thing. It ensures that those who are the most vulnerable will not be forgotten by society. The downside is that when some people get a sense of entitlement it can often be used to browbeat everybody else.
I have an itty bitty incurable disease. I am in a wheelchair. I am unable to work because of said itty bitty incurable disease. I am not entitled to be a jerk about it. There are those in similar circumstances that believe because they are in an uncomfortable situation the entire world owes them. It does not.
I have met more than a few people who believe that if you are able-bodied you need to kowtow to them. I know a woman who thinks it’s beneath her to say please and thank you. She’s quite happy to order everybody around because you see she’s in a wheelchair. She doesn’t like me. I point out how rude she is being. I never said I was a nice person!
Every single individual on this planet is entitled. We are entitled to think, to breathe and to communicate as we see fit. We are not entitled to denigrate, to condescend or to judge anyone else. There are people who don’t believe they are entitled to anything and I disagree. We all come into this world exactly the same way. An egg and a sperm walk into a womb and the baby is made. After a whole lot of crunching and groaning a little one breathes air and the journey begins.
I believe that all children are entitled to happiness and to love but unfortunately it doesn’t always work out that way. Hopefully by the time they reach adulthood they recognize that they are entitled just like everybody else. And just like everybody else they are constrained by the laws of the land, of morality and of good sense.
Ah yes, we all love those loopholes that allow us to get out of doing things we really do not want to do. Examples are rampant in our highly technical, morally questionable, honourably deficient society. I recently tried to get into a local shop, a nice store I would have enjoyed browsing through their products. Unfortunately their front door is only 27” wide. My wheelchair, with the added pouch on the side, is 27” wide. Do you see the problem?
By law, all stores built or modified in the last few years must have an entrance that is 33” wide. This is to provide suitable access for wheelchairs. Yeah right! The law may say 33” but they don’t really mean it. Actually the law states that there must be A door that is 33” wide, not necessarily the front door. In the case of the store I wanted to get into, their side door meets the code but there is a wee problem. That door is accessed from a lobby that is first reached through a very heavy front door. Then because space is at a premium they pile ‘stuff’ around the entrance that is now impassable. I was forced to call for assistance to even get into the store. Then to make matters worse the entire store had aisles about 24” wide because of more ‘stuff’ on the floor. AAAGGGGHHHH!
I realize that I am in the minority. I realize that the main goal in some people’s lives is the acquisition of sizable amounts of currency. Having to accommodate a small minority of people who really don’t complain all that much, is a bother. So people usually don’t change unless they are forced to. And who is going to do the forcing? There isn’t anyone. One voice is not all that intimidating when there is nothing to back it up.
There are groups out there who say that they are advocates for those with disabilities, and they are, for the big things. But who is there to fight for the individual with what amounts to a minor problem? I haven’t found anyone. Those agencies I have approached have always said that their concern is the big picture. Well this is a wake-up call. I am part of that ‘big picture’ which is made up of a whole lot of ‘little pictures’, a mosaic if you like. It is the ‘little pictures’ that will form the foundation for the ‘big picture’.
Let me restate that. If you ignore what is happening to the individual and focus only on the laws and by-laws to change peoples’ attitudes then you will fail. You cannot force someone to do what is right, after the fact. They will spend a sizable amount of time and money to find the loopholes that will allow them to circumvent the law, legally. If you instill a sense of pride in doing the right thing early on, then you will have people who will offer to do what is right without it being forced down their throats. That is something to encourage.