I don’t know if being small minded goes hand in hand with living in a small town or maybe it is just me that notices it more now that I am away from the big city.
Let me give you two recent examples. I came across an old man in one of those pound shops that seem to have sprung up everywhere but are great for getting cheap odds and sods for the kids. I saw him initially from the back dressed in a linen blue suit, too smart for this small town. Or so I thought until he turned around and I saw the tattoo emblazoned across his bald head: a picture of the union jack with 100% British tattooed underneath. I felt sick inside and he actually made me ashamed to be British. Some people might say that it is a generational thing, an attitude left over from an era to which he belonged yet the tattoo could only have been done since he had lost all of his hair and this sickening kind of attitude is one that he will pass down to his future generations. I worry that my children have to grow up here with their ‘foreign’ surname and that they will always be defined by their differences. Already my son tells me he doesn’t want to be ‘brown’when he starts to tan in the summer on the beach; I don’t know where this concern has come from but it definitely hasn’t come from me and although he is too young to know what racism means , the distinction is already there.
The second example is slightly different. My brother and his friend signed up to take part in the Rickshaw Run in India to raise money for charity. His friend is a young woman from Australia who left her three children behind as she is passionate about helping the rest of the world. As part of the journey they posted regular updates on Facebook showing their hair raising journey as they had to make their way from the north of India down to the coast, over 3000km in only 10 days on some of the hairiest roads I have ever seen.One of the earliest videos they included was of their first day when they got trapped in a dust storm which looked pretty scary. Upon my brother’s return I was chatting to him about his trip, in particular the sand storm, when my mum piped up that his companion had a filthy mouth on her. My mum hadn’t even seen the video and had only heard about it from my older sister. Ok, so his companion had used the f**k word a couple of times but really, that wasn’t even worth a mention in my book. There was a young woman battling extreme conditions in India, not knowing if she might see her sons again and I think she might be forgiven for swearing. Like I say small mindedness, or maybe it’s just me.
Anyway, check out their adventure at http://www.theadventurists.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/clampits?fref=ts