Let’s follow the garbage truck!

A story in the newspaper and an incident in town both contributed to my thoughts for this week’s blog.

The story in the newspaper related to a mother who advocated starting to build their child’s CV from birth! Thus not only making sure that the child was enrolled for the best school, but also making sure that they got involved in a wide variety of activities. Even the activities, such as horse riding, involved choosing the best stables for the CV!

The justification for this was the fact that she had managed to produce two doctors and a solicitor from her three boys! You notice, SHE had produced!

Were this an isolated incident one could brush it off, but she got the idea from another mother who was criticising her for being so tardy in bringing up her children, and she in turn is using a national newspaper to encourage others to do the same thing.

A number of things concern me about this article. Firstly there is little or no mention in any of this about personal choice for the child, but about the achievement of the mother.

Secondly, where is the fun in this programmed approach for the child and thirdly leisure activities is precisely that! Surely leisure should be where people enjoy things that they do and should not be a compulsory part of obtaining a degree or a profession.

Unfortunately, nothing in the article gives any indication of pleasure for the three boys and there is no mention of any good relationships being built, activities shared or affection of any sort.

The event in my own town took place when I was walking with my wife to a restaurant to meet two dear friends. We had to step to one side as a rubbish cart came past collecting garbage at 8pm at night.

That in itself is not an unusual sight in Antalya, but then my ears picked up music and I realised that it was coming from the driver’s cab. It was Mozart and the driver was totally lost in the beauty of the music, (apologies to my German, Beethoven fanatical aquaintances). When we met with our friends we discovered that this is a daily occurrence.

I would bet that the driver was not the victim of a pushy mum making him listen to Mozart at a posh music school on anticipation of him getting a degree and a profession. But somewhere along the line he had made choices and developed a love of Mozart.

I would hazard a guess that the driver loves his mum to bits, has matured as a result of his ability to make his own choices and is infinitely happier than the two doctors and a solicitor!

And as for me, I have had my poor opinions of traditional middle class education values reinforced; I have been reminded that we should not try and put people in boxes particularly when it comes to assessing happiness; and that the next time I am in town I should look forward to following the garbage truck!

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