Monday, 21 May 2012

thinking beyond yourself

well, i didn't get much of a break this weekend either. this was because i was busy shifting offices at work. the lease at our previous place wasn't renewed, so we were forced to shift. well, i've been walking into the same office for almost 12 years now, which shows just how much of a stay-put kind of person i am. and now i'm in a new space that is smaller, and that doesn't have a view of some beautiful old oak trees.  i know it will only take a few days to readjust to the new environment. at least everything is shiny and new. but i'm certainly not liking the unisex toilets. it's just too weird.

one of the other things i did in the weekend is spend an hour at the labour party stand at the women's expo. we were talking to women about extended paid parental leave, and there was a whole lot of support for that, both from women and men. there were quite a few men attending, and not always tagging along with the women.

there were those who are philosophically opposed to it - they don't believe breastfeeding is better, they don't think parents need more time to bond with their babies, and they don't think taxpayers should be paying. i can respect those positions, even though i totally disagree with them. i'm one of those who think it takes a village to raise a child, that we are all responsible for building a strong community and we all have to pitch in, and that a new baby is stressful - especially for those that don't have extended family or a good network of friends to support them.

the people i couldn't understand though, are those who said "oh it doesn't apply to me, i'm not going to have any more children". that really annoyed me. it's exactly the kind of thinking that the individualistic nature of our society seems to foster. just because a thing doesn't apply to you personally doesn't mean you shouldn't bother to think about it, or to think about how life can be imroved for others. it's related to the "i coped just fine" mentality, which fails to take into account the fact that other people might not cope as well, that society has probably changed a bit from the time when you had to cope.

what happened to the notion of supporting something because it will make life easier for other people, even if you personally get no benefit from it? is that such an alien concept now? it makes me sad to think so, because it speaks to an increasing lack of empathy and compassion. things that the world is in pretty short supply of at the moment. then there was the woman who wouldn't support it because she was an employer. even though it would mean no further cost to her - the payments come from the government. and if you have to hire a replacement for 3 months, it's really not going to cost any more to keep the replacement on for 6 months. still, the good thing was that most people do support the bill, and are angry that the government is going to veto it.


Carlist said...

"they don't believe breastfeeding is better"

It isn't.

Women should not be pressured to breastfeed any more than they should be pressured to bottle feed.

The mother should choose what is best for her.

stargazer said...

well, we can argue about whether it is or it isn't. but i agree that women choose what's best for them. and it would be nice if that choice wasn't influenced the pressure to get back to work because they can't afford to stay home a little longer. at the end of the day, PPL allows for better choices.