the speaker told me.
The annual subscription for a group I belong to is due at the beginning of next month. I will renew my membership because I have given an undertaking to do so to someone who needs a lot of support right now.
It isn't the best of reasons for doing so. I know that once I would have been thinking, "It feels as if I have only just paid this. Where has the year gone?" What is more I would have been willing to pay and perhaps pay even more because I enjoyed being part of the group.
"There are so many petty rules now. People aren't mixing the way they used to mix. I don't know why you bother to do anything to help."
I agree that there are a lot of petty rules. Once things just happened. People knew what was expected of them. There were no lists of how things had to be done. No, things were not perfect but they happened. People mixed.
Over the last few years people have left the group and not returned. Others are coming much less regularly than they once did. Yes, some of them are getting older but there is much more to it than that. New people come. A few stay but others have not returned. There are many reasons for such things.
Lines of communication have become tightly controlled. I agree that personal information and contact details should not be freely given out. That is sensible but it becomes impossible to do some things if everything is rigidly controlled. What happens is that less rather than more gets done - and fewer people are doing things.
I didn't say anything to the person who was talking to me. While I don't dislike her I don't like her enough that I would choose to have a cup of tea with her either. What is more I wasn't going to gossip about the leadership either - and I know she was itching to do that.
I didn't tell her that I have told the leadership I won't be helping unless the situation changes. I need to be able to communicate with people in order to work with them.
The person speaking to me walked off to do whatever important things she had to do. I went into the pharmacy for the Senior Cat and, waiting for the assistant to get his prescription I thought about all this and wondered why we allow ourselves to get into these situations. Why do we allow people to take control of our lives when it is not essential? Why do we allow rules to take over? Why do we let some people have power it would be better they did not have? Do we really like to be told what to do?
Am I still just a rebellious teenager at heart?