Sunday, March 22, 2015
Beasts of burden
Carry around a big chunk of entitlement: Some time ago I started feeding the birds, occasional and thoughtlessly, long periods of time would pass before I’d replenish the feeders, I was careless. I blew hot and cold and some days I seemed to be feeding squirrels rather than birds. Then we moved house, still in a rural setting and slowly set up a few bird feeders. Due to the aspect of the house, the garden and the location I began to pay more attention to it. A stray robin almost befriended me, I watched the birds and I suppose they watched me. I bought more food, obtained other feeders and silently prided myself that I was attracting birds and feeding them. I felt like some kind of charitable benefactor. I started to feel a little bit of responsibility for the birds and took notice if the feeders ran out. I realised I was becoming a full blown feeder; I couldn’t let these little guys down. I need to keep the food topped up. So where did that come from? That obligation on my part and what I weirdly sensed as their birdy entitlement, I should be feeding them because I could.
Maybe that’s the big problem these grey days, a skewed sense of entitlement. People of my age expect rock solid pensions, superb health care, free buses, discounted holidays, superfast broadband, BBC excellence, global warming to become somehow beneficial, good behaviour and apologies from bankers, supermarkets to forever discount, unlimited cheap stuff to be on eBay and respect from those younger, brighter and more agile. We did our bit. We think this because we think that we’ve worked for it and by a variety of enforced contributions and simply being there we paid for it all so it should be ours. That’s the way of things. It is our right but we also think human rights, religious and political freedoms are OK but only up to the point where they might impact on us and become scary. Nothing too close to the face please, hell is indeed other people. We want the young to work but we stick on our jobs too long and we want politicians to play straight, as if we would do things differently in their shoes, we want peace but we want to be defended. We want the guy in the garden to keep on administering the seed so we can fly about, brainlessly and carelessly and so stay fat and happy. What do you think you’re entitled to? Perhaps we should reflect on this and now and again just buy a few more packs of seeds to toss around.