Recognise Decency!

10 Dec

T and I boarded the bus this afternoon, and as usual, I picked up the Metro newspaper to read. The first thing I noticed on the frontpage was a picture ofwhat appeared to be a new large coin with a lion on the front and the accompanying words “Recognise Decency” stamped on it. Now, this image and the accompanying words intrigued me, so I naturally opened the paper to read more.

Apparently, it is a new campaign set up by the Metro newspaper in conjuction with ING Direct to “evidence that decency is alive and well”. It made sense that the lion printed on the coin was associated with ING Direct as their advertising emblem/brand/symbol….Subconsciously, one would think it a very clever marketing ploy…

Now, I applaud the efforts of all those involved and reading the stories of some of the cases put forward for this “award”, I thought, there were one or two deserving cases that needed recognition. I mean, who would say No to a £1,000 reward for showing a “bit of decency!?” However, the cynic in me thought, “Is our society so bad today that we have to have a campiagn to show a bit of decency?” I mean, I don’t want to sound too old fashioned, conservative or pooh-pooh the idea completely. But a Campaign!!?

I believe that “Decency” is a quality or moral value which sits alongside other human traits such as  respect, dignity, generosity, caring, sharing… the ability to help others, to allow oneself to be accepted and maintain a sense of modesty in society. You get the idea… It just seemed strange to be reading about people who have by default, organisation or spur of the moment decisions, put themselves out or placed themselves at risk in order to help others and being nominated for a “decency prize”. It made me think about all other unseen, unsung heroes who do things to help less fortunate people or individuals that require help or are vulnerable in their own homes, situations or circumstances.

For my part, I thought about how we’d received a phone call this morning from our long term, elderly female friend M, who lives in a one bedroomed flat and is virtually housebound. I had my own plan of action for the day but on receiving this one phonecall, it changed our plans. It’s not a big deal, but she requested certain items from the shops and she doesn’t have anyone else to purchase them for her, so she asked and we obliged. We went to Bearwood, Harborne and into the City and after buying all the requested items, made our way to her flat. Then, after we’d prepared a light snack and a cup of tea for her, collected her pension from the Post Office, brought her laundry in from the drying area and had a chat, we decided it was time to leave. But not before our friend from the North explained that she had attempted to bake some cookies but had found it a struggle to use the required kitchen equipment and utensils. She asked me if I could bake them for her instead. Of course I said yes. and promised that she’d have them the next time we came to visit, which would be Thursday.

So, after we’d left, but not before checking that our friend had locked and secured her front door, we bought a few items for ourselves and returned home. Then, after about an hour of rest, I decided to bake the required amount of cookies.

Now, I realise that it may not seem a lot or it may seem a bit trivial in comparison to the “Recoginse Decency” campaign and the nominees, but apart from the time it took and the change in plans, to help a practically isolated, vulnerable and housebound friend in need, didn’t cost a lot. I felt I was doing “the decent thing” by following what I thought was, by nature or nurture, my humanitarian, caring or generous offer of aid. We didn’t gain any awards and not bound to either, we don’t receive any recognition for what we do, and we don’t need to “evidence that decency is alive and well”.

We just do it because we want to and feel better for doing it. I don’t or didn’t think you could put a price on Decency…   but obviously, in this mass advertising, media related consumer driven campaign – and I’m don’t deny being a Consumer myself and a savvy one at that! – you can.


The Learned Kat :-0



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