Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

12 Days to go. A selfish rant about selfishness.

October 20, 2009

Just 12 day until I run 26.2 miles in the New York Marathon. So the weekend just gone I hardly did any running at all. About 7 miles in total. The week before I did about 42 miles in all including another 20 mile run up the canal and a 10 mile run home from work.  Weight still 80 kg – still several kilos above target. Not sure why. Probably just eating too much!

Anyway. Blah blah blah. I hear you say. So you ran a long way. Or you didn’t run a long way. Who cares, I hear you say.

Ok. Forgive me, for I am getting very anxious about this marathon malarky that I have got to do in 12 days. So I think the rant that follows is a symptom of my anxiety.

The other day I got to Acton Central to go home and there was a problem with the train and it was stuck at the station and was quite full of people and I got on and there was a woman with a handkerchief over her mouth and in her eyes I could see a look of disgust verging on revulsion. And it made me a bit angry. I thought, “If the people, like me, you share your train journey with are so disgusting, why don’t you get a cab? Or go and live somewhere without an overcrowded public transport system. Commuting in London means you are crushed, battered and squashed several times a week.” Maybe I am being unfair what with the Swine Flu thing, and some people on the train could do with washing more often, but for pete’s sake this is what living in a city is about. None of us particularly wants to be squashed up in a train on a line which only has temporary signage.

And given that I work for (and am raising funds for – click here for my just giving page) NCT which is all about pregnancy, birth and early parenting – and there is quite a lot of that which is about the fluids, juices and more corporeal side of humanity – I just found the hanky thing a bit insulting really.  A bit rude and selfish, if you will.

And when people shout at others for trying to get on or off the train, I have a similar reaction.  Some people shove and are rude and selfish and some people shout (rudely and selfishly) at others for trying to find a place on the train. And then there are the people who almost knock pregnant women and small children out of the way to get a seat.

And people who let their dog run around in the only designated dog free green space in my area of north London, and when you point out that fact they (the more polite ones) say that “The dog is on a lead and they will clear up after it, so that is ok.” But that is not the point. That is what they should do in all the places where dogs are allowed. It seems like there is no thought for others in these people’s heads.

And I am not even going to mention the banking crisis and the unprecedented greed and selfishness that got us here. No. Not a word.

I know I am coming across like a columnist in Country Life magazine, grumpy and grumbling about the erosion of traditional values and if only people were a bit more polite. (Actually I got shouted at by a traditional red-faced farmer in Gloucestershire at the weekend for straying a few metres off a (badly maintained) footpath – communist insurgent that I am- so I still have a bit to learn before I can write for Country Life.)

“But, Allan,” you say, “You are flying off to New York to have a fine time eating in your favourite restaurants running a flickering marathon which you have been going on, and on, about for nearly two years now. And what about your poor family which has had to put up with you disappearing for three hour training runs and having to suffer being connected to your relentlessly self-absorbed blog! Isn’t that a little bit selfish too, Allan.” Well, yes. I do like New York and this training and everything can be a bit excluding for my long suffering family.

OK, now I have offended health conscious commuters, dog-owners, all of ruaral Britain and the British Banking community (the last must be used to it by now though) and probably just annoyed you, my loyal reader. What’s my point?

My point – yes there is one – is that we have lost a bit of tolerance and understanding and a bit of thoughtfulness about other people. And one of the things that NCT is about is supporting people when they are struggling or in need. And by having our branches which are networks of people helping each other and helping their communities with the activities they provide, I think there is model for a responsible and supportive society. So if I can raise some money for NCT by running a really really long way on 1st November I am doing a small bit for a better society. No really, I am. (And having a great time in New York as well, I hope.) 

Selfishness abounds
but I am running New York
for a better world.

(pretentious? moi?!)

LOL (or LOLBACALI)

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