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“It seems we’re becoming more and more self-centred rather than community-centric,” said David Koch in an article published on The Daily Telegraph website today.

I’m not about to launch into the whole public breastfeeding debate, other than to say I support mothers being able to breastfeed in public.  Discretion, high traffic areas, covering up, looking away, classy or not; search the web. You’ll find plenty of debate.

But his quote above is what struck a chord with me. If you read the whole article you will see that is his whole point; that we should consider our surroundings and the people in it.

This is the charge I would like to lay at Mr Koch’s feet. I’m not entirely sure that David Koch was being community-centric. That may have been his intention but I think he fell short because I feel he did not successfully define the terms of reference.  Because in the debate of breastfeeding in public, the terms of reference are difficult to define; each situation is different.

On the whole, I agree with Koch that we should be more community-centric; I think it serves us better.

Let’s each and every one of us challenge our self-centred sensibilities and really examine whether our comfort level is more important than whatever it is we are sensitive to. And in the interest of being community-centric, would it be better if we just put up? Or is there something you can do, proactively, to help a situation if you think it warrants it? You know, other than “can you please bugger off” or some such variation.

Another article featured on today. Two flat whites and a bawling child, please

Crying children in public spaces. Another hot topic.

I wrote a post about this almost 6 years ago. Why Are People So Unkind? Seems like not much has changed.

I do agree with Koch that, “strong values which keep families and communities together are set by the parents who have to lead by example and habit.”

Absolutely. I want my children to be community-centric. I want my children to think critically. I do not want them to listen to broadcasters and people in position of power without asking the question why. Did these people get all the facts before unleashing an opinion?

And of course being aware that when an opinion has been expressed others have a right of reply.  And a right of reply is not a licence to demean a discussion with baseless name-calling. It’s not a good look.

Liked I’ve said before; knowledge is power. Language is key. Tone is everything.

So many parenting books recommend that parents ‘pick their battles’ when it comes to raising and disciplining children in order to keep a harmonious household.

Was this a battle worth fighting over? Has it achieved anything?

Now here’s the kicker to being community-centric and thinking about others; while you’re busy thinking about others, others are thinking about you so in the end, in an ideal world, everybody’s needs are met.  But we really do have to be careful that we don’t fall into being self-centred while espousing being community-centric.

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