I don’t know about you but I always feel so sad to see people buying shoddy low quality goods in order to make their children happy. You see this all the time at parks and malls where screaming kids demand silly pieces of plastic which will be broken in minutes, and in the streets where they play with badly designed, quickly broken cars and prams.
It would be so much better to save up and focus on things they really need: good clothes, good food, good shoes, really strong lasting toys that can be handed down from generation to generation. But that’s not how it works. It’s all about satisfying the urge, taking the easy way out or just keeping the kids quiet for a minute. Sometimes its about money, when people can really only afford low quality goods, but all too often its about the moment, the quick, stupid decision.
In adult lives we have priorities too: things we have to have to live a good life: good parks and playgrounds for our children, places they can play football, run, fly kites, and breathe. We need good galleries and museums preserving our culture and displaying our art for others to enjoy. We need health centres and libraries, we need swimming pools and multi-storey car parks to get the streets clear and clean. We need clean air, good transport, quiet streets to walk down.
What do we get? An incredibly expensive (US$5.8 Billion) high speed railway to Bandung, so we can get more people more quickly between two cities already jammed with people, and already served with a good toll road. Is this a good decision or is it just about satisfying the urge? Maybe the “children” will stop crying for a minute though, when they get their expensive toy.
ALISTAIR G. SPEIRS