Five hours. Five hours have I thought about what to write and then avoided actually writing it. And now I am going to write about something completely different anyway. Way to spend a Sunday.
Essentially, I think we are driving ourselves mad – or at least I am. I started writing this article because of the need to “be better”, whatever that might be. Be a better feminist, a better human rights lawyer, a better human, care more, do more, start with writing about something important at least once a month. Hence, my October article.
I couldn’t sleep last night because I was insanely angry. It started with the partying students on the roof but turned into an all-consuming anger and disappointment with the world. Yes, like a teenager.
But maybe a teenager who is making some kind of sense. Last week, a documentary about kindergarten in Belgium created quite a controversy. The documentary tragically revealed that, nowadays, young children are often not equipped for school; they fall asleep seated at their tables, still poo their pants and need a lot of additional attention – with teachers desperately trying to keep their heads above the water. Our Secretary of State for Education thought that it was a good idea to blame the ‘changed environment’ such as working parents of the children and noted that “raising children is the task of the parents, not of schools”.
However, parents objected and rightly pointed at the Secretary’s flawed logic. How are parents supposed to perfectly raise their children and, on the other hand, work longer and harder, when support by the welfare state is slowly crumbling?
More generally, how are we supposed to function as full-fledged independent human beings when we have to work longer and harder, hobbies and self-care are branded as luxuries, and education, social and healthcare are not treated as necessities which should be publicly funded and valued?
In the few hours a week we have left after work -which decrease drastically for people with children- we are all trying to cool down from the stress at work while desperately figuring out how to become a more whole person – whether through taking an intense cooking class or starting a petition for change.
It’s no rocket science figuring out why we are all exhausted, stressed and anxious. Spare time should be valued higher. More time makes happier, healthier and more productive people.
Maybe this is what we should petition for.