Friday, 3 October 2008

up on the soapbox I go....

so.... there must be opposition in all things.... After our perfect day in the park, we had a slightly more challenging day. Exactly what would have persuaded me that taking the kids to the supermarket is a good idea? Especially after a visit to the movies with copious amounts of sweets etc? I did my best to pretend I had no idea why these children were following me around the shop, but I don't think I fooled anyone :) They weren't that bad, actually. I think it was probably me feeling a little tired and slightly frazzled more than anything...

But, I digress.. my soapbox topic has nothing to do with the merits of taking vs not taking children shopping. It has to do with questionable magazines at the petrol stations. Whenever I go to pay for petrol, I never look at the magazine stands because I know what's there. The bigger stations have a safer selection, but it seems that where space is at a premium, the priority is on motoring magazines and porn. What's worse is that the porn is displayed at children's eye level. Usually next to icecream or confectionery shelves.. Until now I have just averted my eyes and avoided the "danger zone".

"Maybe the greatest sin is neither of these two ancient ones [the lust for power and hubris]; the greatest sin may be the new twentieth-century sin of indifference:" - Peter Drucker [Adventures of a Bystander, John Wiley and Sons 1994]

Not that I have been indifferent, but I suppose I might as well have been..

We had a wonderful lesson in RS last Sunday. The discussion around the power of example was very good, particularly when we discussed tolerance. Tolerance is an interesting word because the most common use of it is "The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others". I believe in this kind of tolerance.. in the non-judgment of others. But, it's a fine line we tread..

Another definition of tolerance is:
"Unresponsiveness to an antigen that normally produces an immunological reaction"
This is a medical definition, but it does put a different slant to it, doesn't it? Have we become dulled to things around us that should evoke or produce some sort of feeling or reaction?

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing..." - Albert Einstein

What has shaken me into action is my boys becoming aware of these magazines, and it grieves me that they should be exposed to it. So, yesterday I decided to take a stand. First I voiced my concern to the manager of the station... his only defense was that children don't belong on the forecourt. Poor excuse, really. So now I have armed myself with the addresses of the customer relations departments of the petrol stations I visit most often, and I will be be putting my concerns in writing.

What I'd really like is the total removal of these magazines, but at least I would like to see them moved out of reach and sight of children. And so I will start my little crusade.

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do. - Edward Everett Hale

Next, a campaign? (see below for addresses)

Coles Express (Shell), Customer Relations Dept, P.o. Box 480, Glen Iris, Victoria, 3146
Mobil Customer Relations Dept, 12 Riverside Quay, Southbank, Victoria, 3006


  1. Mari excellent soap box. Could you give an outline of a letter we could write so it's really effective??

  2. yes very bad...i am going to write to everyone that does this and tell them it is offesive and on that same soap box...
    Go mari

    oh did you have aletter written up...would love a copy...if you have one.
    c ya
    lv Bron

  3. thank you for joining me on the soapbox! I will send you copies of the letter..

  4. Good on you Mari! I hadn't even thought about that (my boys still sit snugly in their carseats while I pay for petrol) but I certainly wouldn't want them exposed to that! I may need to dust up on my letter writing skills.


Please leave a message after the beep.....