I had a conversation recently, that gave me pause for thought. The person I was talking to had commented that they made friends largely with other parents from the same school, and I decided to interrupt, to put a different slant on this, pointing out that we had indeed been dropped by parents who made friends with other parents from their children's schools.
“Well,” said the other person, “that’s just what happens.”
There was no remorse, no real awareness that that must have been painful for us, but there was no judgement either, just an acknowledgement that this is the way the world works when everyone is just trying to get by.
This is, of course, is true, and for a moment, it made me wonder if I had protested unduly, if I was finding offence where there was none, and where there was none intended?
Or is this why we need to speak up, even if only in individual conversations, one-on-one, to get people thinking that just because this is the way the world works, it doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t mean that others don’t suffer from it.
What many don’t realise though, is that it is not just the childless who are suffering. Parents miss out too – on variety in their lives, on people who could help them and their children (free babysitting, baking, or piano lessons, anyone?), who could provide different perspectives on life, bring different knowledge and skills, resulting in greater understanding and enriching everyone’s lives.