JournalismPakistan.com September 28, 2013
Okay listen up. Lived out one of my favorite lines yesterday. Never is a man so tall as when he stoops to speak to a child. What we did was go to this incredible place called Emirates Park which is a kind in your face open zoo with every animal you can think of and it is teeming with kids. Divide them into what their parents stand for…the well behaved and the truly ill mannered. The children not the animals but that would be unfair to the animals.
A couple gets off next to us and their kids spit gum onto the entrance, destined now for a stranger’s sole. Others leap around ignoring the ‘ Don’t tease the animals’ signage and still others tap against the predator glass panels where the sign says, ‘Do not tap on the glass.’ And the parents, either brain dead or simply arrogant (we are paying aren’t we?) are letting them behave exactly the opposite of how they should be. Rudeness, stupidity and indifference to rules are not samples of loving indulgence.
Next to us a bunch of kids leap into the duck pond right where it is written that they should not. I think upbringing is decided by the distilled statement; you do not tease or taunt animals.
And then you have well behaved six-year-olds and even younger, asking permission, 10-year-olds, no less bursting with energy asking permission to feed a giraffe, saying please and thank you to the staff for the leaves, making it a pleasure to watch them interact with wild life. Not demanding in their tone like the staff were riff raff and you were to the manor born.
Don’t blame the children. It’s the adults with them who should be indicted. Adults who are either rich and well-connected or have that absurd notion that money which they have paid entitles them to ignoring signage. They do that right through their lives. And they can spoil it for everyone else. Parents like that need a refresher course.
What’s good for the zoo is good for the way you live your life. It is but a small step to doing 160 in an SUV in a 120 kph zone or ignoring the No smoking sign because, hey, do you know who I am. Sir, maybe you are one heck of a man but there are consequence…that’s why there are signs. Heed them.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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