Seeing beyond your nose

Today marked the start of Be Kind To Animals week. I expect that lots of you along with many other people didn’t realise that. There are so many days, weeks and months to mark something. In fact I think most things have some form of commemoration day to raise awareness from doughnuts to dementia. Some are serious and others are a bit of fun.

The fact that it is Be Kind To Animals week is not the issue, what is important for me is that people are aware of their surroundings. I am continually surprised by the fact that while younger people have the world at their fingertips they are interested in nothing beyond their small group of friends.

As we head towards the election it is clear that many young people don’t vote because they have no interest in what is happening. They can’t see the link between the national discussion about politics and what takes place in their local communities. And in the modern world where you can keep in touch with the latest events for every second of every day they seem unwilling to switch on.

It is a huge concern for me that in the future people will become more and more isolated within their own small worlds. They will mix with their friends, see the same people every day at work, and keep within safe boundaries. How then are we going to have people who will question the status quo and challenge what is taking place in the world? How will we get people to work together to improve society? How will we find people to keep us evolving and developing?

In short, there will always be a few people who are prepared to swim against the tide. These are the people who will be aware of the wider world and keen to get involved, challenge and move things forward. I wonder whether it is now time to encourage an interest in society, culture and politics at an early stage within schools. In that way we may start to increase those active citizens who work for the common good and will be heading to the ballot box.

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