Why is our society becoming so negative? After several recent difficult family matters, I have begun pondering upon why our society seems to be becoming stuck in a “complaints” mode. Rather than approaching issues with friendliness, but directness, it seems the first avenue for many is to make threats, and then if you haven’t actually complained to a higher authority, it seemed expected that you will before any positive action is taken!
My father recently had a stroke and we are trying to keep both parents in their home as much as we can. My parent’s home has rambling trees which they love, as Mum always preferred to have a very natural garden. In their area, as seems to be the way in Australia, most of the homes nearby which have been there for the last 50-60 years have had new owners move in. The first thing they do is remove all the trees and make their yards so “low maintenance” that there is nowhere for birds to go, no shade and I’m sure the air purity is affected. All the birds hang out at my parents place!
The past few weeks my parents had a period in respite, only coming home this week. Today a handwritten letter was posted in their mail box demanding that the trees be cut down, saying that this person had personally received 4 separate complaints about the trees being too low. They then went on to say that children had been injured(?) and umbrellas stuck in the tree. The letter went onto to demand that if the trees had not been attended to by this persons next “inspection” legal action would be launched! There was no date for this inspection, we have no idea who the person is, they did not leave their address and we don’t know who this person is in order to be the one receiving complaints! We are not aware of having anyone complain, or injured, although Dad recalled helping someone get their umbrella out one day. Dad has reduced vocab and cognitive ability although he recalled the incident and was quite cheerful and thought that the lady concerned was fine. He did forget to tell us about it or we might have already attended to the trees.
We have no issue with trimming the trees back on the pathway side, but why the need to immediately threaten an elderly couple? Can we no longer respect one another and assume in the first instance that people are approachable? A simple first letter, or a door knock asking would be have enough. We have been so busy with trying to make the house more accommodating to their later years that we haven’t been looking at the trees. It is something that is regularly done anyway. A simple “please are you aware that your trees are getting low and impeding on the airspace above the common footpath” would have been all that was required.
The second issue is an ongoing issue with a phone company who my parents were with and who keep billing despite the numbers being transferred to another company. This has been going on for months and I was actually told on about my second call that I had to complain to the ombudsman! Then they will respond!!! What the?? Why must a problem be escalated immediately to be actioned? As it was despite me asking them to please look into it because this company keeps calling my Dad and confusing him while he recovers from his stroke, I started wondering if not only do people not want to say please, they actually don’t know what it means when someone else uses it. I have actually begged them, I had friends use their contacts to this company and it still goes on. Yesterday I had both a call from someone who will be the case manager and then another email billing us again within minutes of each other!
All I can say is PLEASE – enough!
Fiona is the author of futureproof your kids . She is committed to bringing respect ethics and values back into the online space.