Lest we forget to be human beings …

Memory lapses are not just daily flashes of incongruence or inadvertant crazy public behaviour but a global disease. The forthcoming season of jollity will be another mad scramble to buy stuff folk don’t need with money we don’t have or, at the very least, could use more wisely.

In the old historic town of Tarifa, at the southermost tip of Europe, every day in every way there are reminders of our continued decline as decent human beings. People think it’s ok to leave their dog shit for the rest of us, their litter and graffitti to dis-grace our streets and walls (c’mon moron, who cares your name is Buz? ); there are ubiquitious fuck yous reminding us that what’s coming ain’t gonnna be pretty.

A 13 year old girl regularly kicks a football against the walls in my street. Her mother says she can’t control her. The kid is bored, overweight and pissed at life. I offer to pay her to teach me how to ride a bike. She sits eating pumkin seeds and there are no lights up there. Either never were or they are temporarily extinguished.

Some day soon, with the help of alcohol and a vacant sperm donor, she will be pregnant and so the cycle continues. The politicians, meanwhile, fill their boots at the local town hall and there is nowhere for kids to prepare for a future where there will be no room for the less than mediocre.

If we do nothing else this year, before the New Year, become a human being in your neighbourhood. I’m helping local people prepare better CVs. In Tarifa most people are unemployed, especially in the winter. If you are good with kids, offer time to hear them out. They’re hurting out there and their parents are either incapable or too busy to bother. I’ve not given up on Cynthia and her tormenting football. She’s moved down the road now but that’s not the answer.

It’s too easy to shift the problem on. At the end it will all be our problem. Every delinquent kid, every corrupt SOB in government. Support our human race with awareness, empathy and above all, time and effort.