This is a post that has had me thinking for the longest of whiles, and eventually I decided to put the proverbial pen to paper…sort of. See, I’ve reached a point where I wonder, when do we stop bothering with something? When do we stop trying to be the change we want to see in the world?
Let’s take a incident a few months ago. We entered a 4×4 Community competition, with my wife driving and me playing navigator. The rules were strict, in some obstacles, the navigator was allowed to walk outside of the vehicle and guide the driver, but at no point were the roles allowed to be swopped, i.e. the driver not driving the vehicle.
Come the prize-giving, and a certain lady ends up in second place, with my wife 4th. So we accept the points, but later, while looking at pictures of the event, we see this very lady walking outside the vehicle, with her husband / boyfriend / male friend driving the vehicle. When I queried it publicly on the thread with the organiser I didn’t get an answer (since a disqualification would have moved us in to 3rd). The other contestants made remarks of “the vehicle wasn’t capable, the driver wasn’t capable or even saying we’re just sour grapes”. Right up to today, I have yet to get an answer.. So, it kind of left a sour taste in our collective mouths about competitions and how they are run. One might think this is a isolated incident but it reminds me of a scenario I found myself in years ago.
I was competitively cycling in the Pedal Power Association’s Sub-Veterans League. Yet I was always upset about how the races were run etc, until I was told to put my money where my mouth is, and I got on to the ‘league sub-committee’. It went quite well and we did make a difference in a race or two, until Malmesbury. See, the head of the committee (let’s call him Frikkie), was second in the points standings for the 40 – 49 group. The particular weekend was the Cape Epic race. Suddenly on Friday afternoon, we are notified that Malmesbury was going to be a league points race. When I queried it, I was told by ‘Frikkie’ that he and the PPA’s CEO made the decision. Fine, but what about the guys riding the Cape Epic, who would lose out on the points that weekend? “No, they would choose the Epic anyway”.. Yes, maybe, but they should have been given the choice long in advance..
Needless to say, ‘Frikkie’ won his category that weekend, and gained an unassailable lead in the points that weekend due to his competition being absent. I resigned from the committee the Monday after the race, and soon after stopped competitive cycling to switch to triathlon. Of course ‘Frikkie’ phoned me to ask why I quit, gave me a ton of excuses but I had it with cycling by then.
Other incidents flaring up on social media lately is people parking in disabled bays, and then attacking those verbally and physically who ask them to move their vehicles. Do you bother with someone parking in a disabled bay because they can’t be bothered to walk the extra 20m to the shopping mall entrance? Or do you just look, shake your head and walk away, allowing those with a sense of entitlement (or just bone idle laziness) to get away with it repeatedly?
One cannot be the change we need in this world when the rest of humanity is out to make sure they are number one. A lot of people say “do something about it then!” when others are unhappy with a situation, but few realise how futile it is. Just ask Mr. H about the responses to his “you’re doing it wrong” talks… Kudus to him for sticking to his beliefs though…
Have you tried to make a difference somewhere and failed miserably? Do you even bother? Or do you sit on the sidelines and watch? Comments below please