Waste Not Want Not.
“Wilful waste makes woeful want”, write that out five hundred times and I promise that you’ll never forget it. I haven’t! It all took place many years ago in boarding school. The headmaster had access to the school from his residence through the school dining room. Coming down to breakfast one morning he spotted a piece of lumpy porridge on the top plate of plates stacked. Eleven others and I sat at that table. He stopped, viewed the scene, and enquired who had left the lump of porridge. No one owned up, hence all twelve were instructed to write out “wilful waste makes woeful want” five hundred times. It was wartime and there was food rationing, so I guess he had logic on his side. It was a lesson well learned!
But how are we as a nation vis a vie waste? So so I’d say. A small item caught my eye in the daily paper t’other day: Farmleigh that pile of bricks and mortar above in the Park that the taxpayer maintains, had two dignitaries staying in it in the year gone out. It must surely qualify as the most expensive B@ B in the whole world never mind the country. Have we not got some top quality hotels in the city that could look after the needs of said dignitaries? How come we never see or hear what it costs to maintain that place the round of the year? And how come we never hear about those electronic voting machines. Remember them? At the time they were supposed to be the last word in getting out election results pronto, and saving the electorate endless time and energy. Last we heard of them was they were shoved into a cupboard somewhere costing a mint in storage chargers. 50 million was the last figure I heard mention of. Today we have a medical scanner installed for the last six months but can’t afford to pay someone to operate it apparently. Would you buy a car if you couldn’t afford a driving licence? It only cost four million, let it lie there for a while, something or someone will turn up At present we have floods everywhere and a water shortage. Ask someone in charge how come, and the blame will be laid at the cold snap we’ve had. Our cold snaps come in ten year cycles we’re told, so there should be lots of time for both private householder and those in charge of our waterworks to be ready for the next time, and have all those pipes buried good and proper! Dream on.
But commodities are not the only forms of waste; we have waste of time for example. Sitting gazing at some mindless soap on TV, and there’s no scarcity, is a great time waster. Listening to some politician as to how he/she is about to save the nation is another prime example of time wasted. Someone gazing out the window is not necessary time wasting, he/she could be hatching up some great plan. Could be described as time well spent! There is an inordinate amount of time wasted both on radio and TV, and in our daily papers on giving us news, especially on TV. First the newsreader tells us about some breath taking event, then immediately refers us to our ‘special correspondent’ in such and such a place where the event has or is taking place who gives us the same news.
There is discussion going on at present about the involvement or influence of church, specifically the Catholic Church in our schools but it applies to all denominations. Since the formation of the state all faiths have had an interest in our primary schools, and the resident priest or parson has played his part in promoting his particular faith. But times they are a changing and we are becoming multi cultural as a nation. The catholic numbers in some primary schools are being outnumbered by other faiths or no faith at all. What’s a man to do except open his prayer book and carry on. Isn’t that what our missionaries did years ago in foreign lands and they ran the risk of being put in a pot and stewed for lunch. There are some who would suggest that attempting to spread the gospel in this day and age is wasted effort, others would differ, and that’s what makes the world go round. But the biggest waste of time and money has surely got to be the amount spent, since the formation of the state, on the restoration of the Irish language. Making it compulsory in our schools and collages killed it right from the start, for we Irish don’t like to be compelled, and unless one got a job in the civil service it was of no use in finding work at home or abroad, and over the years a lot of us had to find work abroad. Unless one uses a language in our daily work it’s as dead as the Do Do.
I’d better not waste any more time on this article! Jeffers.