As one pedals relentlessly through life it is vital to take stock once in awhile just to make sure you don’t go over the handlebars.
The tactic I use to ensure that I have not veered completely off course is to ask myself what others would do when faced with a similar predicament. These human benchmarks are almost always people who I would consider playing dead to avoid: UKIP members, Big Brother contestants, anyone with a tattooed face and Southampton supporters.
My rule is to do exactly the opposite to them and, generally speaking, it should mean that I keep my nose clean. In the past few months there has only one person who I have needed to hold a mirror up to – the man who stands a very real chance of becoming the leader of the free world, Donald Trump.
He may be a billionaire with his own private jet and millions of adoring, if not slightly deranged, supporters but with his every utterance I become more and more convinced that we are from different planets.
His pledge to build a giant wall to keep Mexicans out, his Stone Age views on women, not to mention his inability to take any form of criticism have made for a bewildering US presidential race but it was his reaction to a crying baby which will stick in the memory of many.
To his critics his request for a mum and her wailing offspring to be removed from one of his tiresome public appearances was an example of how out of touch he really is with the rest of the world. There cannot be a more natural sound in the world and nobody with even a smidgen of empathy can take umbrage, can they?
The trouble is Trump isn’t on his own when it comes to intolerance to screaming sprogs and I am sure there was a hardcore of people across who will have tutted ‘Who takes a baby to a political rally?’
As someone with a one-year-old I am pretty relaxed when it comes to other people’s children crying but am all too aware that this view is not shared by everybody.
There are some people, many of whom have families of their own, who believe that young children should only be allowed in restaurants which serve nuggets but my view is that if you want to avoid young families then don’t visit an eatery, which has high chairs, during the daytime.
Society has long since moved away from the view that children should be seen and not heard and family entertainment is now big business. In the past two decades working lives have changed completely with employers recognising the need to give more support to parents.
But, unfortunately the undercurrent of intolerance to others, something which in this country ultimately led to the Brexit vote, is as prevalent as it has been in living memory.
While I do understand it is difficult to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet, next time you feel your blood boil due to the crying little one at the next table, remember that is how Donald Trump would react.
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