Where opinions matter – are our social standards slipping further?

People on phone

Two gorgeous-looking, white, long-hair dogs hit the headlines in a Perth suburban newspaper, recently. Designer dogs, they were missing with a generous, $1,000 reward offered.

The story caught the eyes of readers, including a man who phoned the newspaper to say he had the animals.

He wanted a secret rendezvous address nominated where he could meet the frantic owners and exchange dogs for reward. All proceeded to plan and the unidentified man departed, counting the cash.

The newspaper reported the successful outcome: Teary dog owners reunited with their much-loved and pampered pets and man dutifully rewarded for his efforts.

What have we come to, when the return of people’s property for a whopping reward is deemed a success?

There’s nothing wrong with people wanting to be appreciative but the expectation of a reward is a bit rich. A token $50 would be more appropriate but if it was me, I would be reluctant to accept a reward.

The old rule that was drummed into us was: “if it’s not yours, it’s not yours.” 

These dog owners got their dog back. So they should have. Their property, their dogs.

“Man declines reward” would be a better story.

Community spirit, morality and honesty all get back to education, both at home and in schools, especially these days with often working and absent parents.

Social standards are slipping further.

Our walking/cycling path has had a thick, blue, divided line painted down its entire length to encourage walkers and cyclists to keep left. Few take any notice.

Many walkers, some in threes and some with dogs on long leads, take up nearly the whole path or blatantly walk on the wrong side.

Councils also paint large signs to walkers and cyclists – reminders that they are on shared paths and cyclists should ring their bells. It doesn’t work.

On weekends, there are so many walkers, scooters, dogs and children, why do cyclists even bother taking shared paths?

And yes, walkers are often on their phones without a thought to sharing.

In busy areas, including shopping centres, little account is given to oldies and sometimes the disabled.

What about road sense?

As an exercise, monitor a crosswalk. Watch how many people step onto a crosswalk and then look to see what’s coming.

And watch how many drivers keep going after pedestrians have stepped onto crosswalks.

Police would have a field day.

At push-button pedestrian crossings, watch how many people march up and press the button when no cars are coming and cross anyway. Long after they’ve gone, with not a pedestrian in sight, the lights turn red, needlessly stopping streams of cars, trucks and buses.

Keeping to the left, giving way, courtesy, respect and common sense are lacking today. Familiar complaints but what does it take to be heard?

What do you think?
Email info@haveagonews.com.au with Opinion in the subject line.