I have a notebook and pen in the side pocket of my car. I often think of glamorous things like “oh yeah, we need more bin bags!” in the middle of the school run and need to write it down. Sometimes I think of a new twist for a character I’m developing, or a new blog post, or I hear a clever line in a Radio 4 programme. Sometimes I’m in a queue to pay for petrol and while staring idly at newspaper headlines I start to wonder about them. Or I’m gazing almost bankly at an advert on the back of a magazine and I drift off on my own little tangent, questions forming in the shallower part of my mind.
So here you go, some of my mental meanderings. Now you know some of what goes on in my mind during the school run:
1. Why is it not ok to air nicotine adverts (cigarettes, cigars, chew) in the UK but it is ok to make alcohol look sexy and make gambling look like fabulous party times? Especially in a country where binge drinking is a recognised problem and gambling is an increasingly alarming issue?
2. If food colourings and other additives are so bad for children, and if nasties like hydrogenated fats contribute to the rise in cancer, why aren’t there laws restricting use of these ingredients as there are laws preventing the use of other dangerous substances? Surely that would save healthcare costs?
3. Why do newspapers think it is “the public’s best interest” to expose horrid secrets about people, when those secrets have nothing to do with the person’s performance in their sport/politics/acting/whatever?
4. Why do celebrities (females) go out partying without any knickers on and then get out of the car as if they’re wearing jeans not a mini skirt, right in front of photographers? I mean, you wouldn’t invite the press to your gynae appointment, would you?
5. Why do people think it’s acceptable to shout at and threaten other people when they’re in the car but would never dare do the same if walking on the sidewalk? And why is this on the increase?
6. Why do some countries still have daylight savings time?
7. Why do we give importance to celebrities, people who offer little of value to our society? And conversely, why do we demean people who are some of the most important members of our society–and our future, with low pay (i.e. teachers)?
8. Why do we so easily forget how ‘it‘ feels when we’re not experiencing ‘it‘ anymore? ‘It‘ = to be a teen, to be treated badly in a shop, to not be let out at a busy junction, etc.
9. Why is discipline such a challenge when we know the benefits can be massive?
10. Why don’t more people learn to control their dreams (lucid dreaming) instead of talking about the nightmares they’ve had? Why don’t more people know they can control their dreams? Shouldn’t we be teaching this to young children?
11. If Stress is recognised as the source of many of our problems (and has been shown to contribute to early death), why don’t we have stress reduction techniques taught as part of our curriculum at schools from an early age? It could be a module in the class that also covers other mind/body issues like sex ed, relationships, ethics etc.
12. Why do so many people feel so lonely? What’s wrong with our world that there are so many people who either don’t know how to make friends or aren’t in a position where they can find friends?
13. Why isn’t money management taught to everyone at school?
14. What physiological trigger happens to our children at a certain age that makes them realise that as adults who have been there and lived a little we still know the square root of nothing and thus are not worth taking advice from? And why hasn’t some clever dietician come up with a teen diet or multivitamin to reverse this?
If you have any answers, clever readers, I would love to hear them!
Or do you have more questions to add?