Sunday, 5 August 2012

Officially Miserable Medway.

Its official the Medway Towns are the second least satisfied area in the South of Britain.
Strangely, I’m not that surprised.
Lets be honest, what is there to look forward to in the Medway area? It is run down, dirty, a shell of its former self, a Council that seemingly care more about big projects than the day to day lives of the residents, raising personal debt, 11500 children in poverty, no good high streets, expensive rail and bus services and low incomes. There is nothing to look forward to, apart from the Olympics and Jubilee, just the same old grind day in day out.
There is little wonder then that the Medway towns are also one of the worst hot spots for obesity (30% of adults), high levels of smoking, teenage pregnancies and a low life expectancy linked mainly to cancer and smoking related diseases.
Well we all need vices to resort to to make ourselves feel better about life and if things are so bad then why not?
As I write this I’m watching The Never Ending Story with my daughter (for the 999th time) and I was just moved by the scene in the Swamps of Sadness;
Everybody knew that those who let the sadness overtake them were doomed to sink into the swamp.
This is true of Medway too. It’s easy to let all the problems over take you and get sucked down but at the same time is life really that bad?
I mean, we’re still living in a First world country, we’re not being shot by Government troops, forced to work in sweat shops, our children aren’t dying after a few months from drinking filthy water… Things are not as bad as they could be. It is worth bucking up a little bit.
The Medway Messenger cited some comments from Facebook;
It lacks atmosphere, there’s not much to do in the owns compared to Maidstone, but it is much better than Dover (Says Mike Canham Croom)
Fair point.
Medway Youth Council suggested the creation of a Reward card for young people. Every time they went to Medway Park swimming, or to the Ice bowl they could get points they could put towards getting a free game of bowling. In the wake of this survey it would seem that their plan, which we support should be implemented. Encourage kids to be more active and to enjoy the towns.
Put down the Burger pick up a bowling ball!
Dawn Adamson wrote;
House prices are becoming out of reach for most people living in Medway and wages are far lower than average and as an ex-Londoner I find the people less friendly too.
OK, house price rises are the same everywhere at the moment as are wages. The nature of capitalism is to keep prices up and wages down and make more money for those on the top. Unfortunately there is nothing you can reasonably expect the Council to do anything about.
There is something that YOU can do though.
For Pete’s sake smile, or say “Hello” to people you see regularly.
At my end of Gillingham there is a street cleaner who always says “Hello” as I go to work and always waves and says “Hello” to my wife and little girl and it is surprising how much of a difference it makes to your day.
Smile’s are infectious, and I know this is easier said than done considering everyone’s personal woes, but try it. Be polite to people in the street, patient with those who work in shops, stop using the C – word as an adjective especially at 11 O’clock outside my daughter’s bedroom window!
The reason that the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland did so well in the survey is that life on isolated rural communities is painfully simple and life in big urban conurbations is difficult but lets get on with it before we get sucked into the great mire of sadness. Similarly we need to encourage our youth to get off their backsides and do things get energised and I think the Council should seriously look at this proposal from the Youth Council.
Also, be proactive with happiness. Be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

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