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One thing I have unmistakably noticed in my travels around the world is the contrast between caring and control. One of the clearest examples of this was when I saw a group of teenagers and university students drinking and smoking in a park in Tallin, Estonia. While I was talking to them they saw a police officer in the distance. They quickly started putting out their cigarettes and hiding their beer. They told me that there was a new law, designed to create a better image of the city for the tourists, which prohibited drinking and smoking in the parks in the center of town.
I knew some of the young people already. I knew they had come from broken homes. One student's father had killed himself. Another student's father was an alcoholic. I knew that these young people needed someone to care about them. But instead a police officer was coming there way who had the ability to control them by putting them in jail for breaking the law.
That day I began to wonder what the world would be like if we had more roaming social workers who would stop by and have a chat with young people like this. People who cared about others but weren't there to control them. People who would take time to get to know them and their needs.
I knew those students only a short time but I found out that they had no where to go to just hang out with and talk to their friends. Especially in the winter, when it was bitter cold (Estonia being close to Russia and Finland), they needed a warm, dry place to just meet and socialize.
I am still wondering what the world would be like if we simply had more people who cared about us and fewer people who controlled us.
Note: A blogger named OlegAney has copied this and changed the name of the city. I have written to him to ask him to give me credit. Here is the link
Steve -June 10, 2011
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