I am sure you have heard these infamous words many a time, said with a shake of a head or a look of disappointment perhaps from a grandparent or maybe even a parent “It wasn’t like that back in my day.” I think in these modern times there is a sense from people that the comradeship and close-knit community that was once there when their grandparents were growing up are things of the past, but I beg to differ in this little post today.
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to secure a place in the ballot to take part in the Ride London Event, this saw 20,000 cyclists hit traffic free roads through London and the Surrey villages and towns, completing 100 miles. This event for me brought to light the support and comradeship of local communities – cycling through the stunning Surrey villages and towns I was blown away by the support of strangers choosing to spend their Sunday cheering and encouraging us on our merry way. A true sign that although communities may have grown and are spread over larger areas by no means has the support network waned, people are still willing to give up their time, something that is so precious to make a lasting impact on someone who is a stranger to them.
I sadly wasn’t looking as cool as this chap
On another note and in support of my argument that chivalry is by no means dead is this article from Time Out , a real testament to human spirit and the strength it can bring…..talking two years on from the London Riots is….
The Barber: Aaron Biber, 91
‘The rioters smashed up my shop and took chairs, razors, tables, the kettle, teabags, even a bag of sugar! I kept thinking: Why? I’ve nothing to steal. The next day, I opened the shop. It’s what I’d done all my life, I didn’t know what else to do. Some locals launched a blog called Keep Aaron Cutting. By the end of two days it had raised £35,000. A month later I opened up with new shutters, windows and electrical fittings. The money left over I gave to charity. Five customers walked in on that first day. One of them was in tears when they saw I was back. Boris Johnson and Prince Charles popped in. Peter Crouch gave me Spurs tickets. The community spirit is amazing. I’ve lost customers, but I’m not packing up. As my father used to say to me in Yiddish, “Arbet makht dos lebn zis.” Work makes life sweet.’
Courtesy and valiance are not things to look back on with nostalgia – they are very much still alive and kicking – so with a sigh of contentment there is no need for that “back in my day” talk, comradeship and community spirit are not things of the past we are very much celebrating them still today.