This week's theme is "Cages".
I wondered where to go with this one, then decided that the cages don't have to be physical objects. After all, Pink Floyd managed okay with the wall metaphor, didn't they?
So I wondered, what tends to restrict people these days - how have things changed over the years? And that was my starting point.
Conventions of society,
the edicts of propriety,
The manners taught us through our lives to mould the way we act;
a conscience forged from common sense,
to understand the consequence
of words and deeds before they’re said and done; the use of tact.
With chalk lines drawn inside the mind,
we did not really feel confined
as tolerance and empathy were something we were taught.
We understood the lines were there
to guide us and we were aware
that we should only cross them if our reasons were well thought.
Some years ago, society
was told that this “propriety”
was something in the way when loads of money could be made.
It didn’t really count as greed
to profit from those folk in need.
Self-help evolved to selfishness as ethics were mislaid.
Self-centredness soon took its toll:
With such a lack of self-control
we all became a victim when we chose to sacrifice
our own responsibility
to those in our community;
The lines of chalk within our minds would simply not suffice.
With grumblings from the populace
The nanny state could do no less
than bring in laws enforcing what we used to self-impose.
But these laws were intractable
(though lawyers were contactable)
And now the list of petty laws, it grows and grows and grows.
Political correctness, and
the pressure to expect less, and
Curtailing rights with “Human Rights”, the irony’s not lost.
Imposing “Health and Safety” aims
to reduce compensation claims,
defining all the penalties, that boundaries aren’t crossed.
With all this mad protective zeal
our minds construct these bars of steel
preventing us from venturing where once we’d risk to tread.
The lines of chalk that once were there
are scuffed away to our despair,
and in our mind we’ll find that there are cages there instead.