Coun Paul Bellenger: Don’t let society dictate who you are

​​Over the past century society has undergone tremendous changes in almost every aspect of life. Technological advancements, shifting cultural norms, and significant world events have all shaped our world today. From transportation and communication to gender roles and social justice.
Can we become better people by lifting our heads out of our phones? Photo: AdobeStockCan we become better people by lifting our heads out of our phones? Photo: AdobeStock
Can we become better people by lifting our heads out of our phones? Photo: AdobeStock

Written by Greetland & Stainland Ward Councillor, Paul Bellenger, Liberal Democrat Group Leader:

In our bid to improve, explore and become financially better off we have left behind the people we once were and have allowed ourselves to become shaped and influenced by the society around us and the exponential advancements of technology.

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Do we allow ourselves to accept that its just evolution of the human race even if this is destroying what we should be? Should we allow ourselves to be manipulated by the things we cannot control or should we, as intelligent social beings, be shaping our collective future?

It really saddens me to see what we have, in too many cases, become over the years; we no longer take pride in where we live as we expect someone else to do it for us. We don’t pick up that bit of litter on the street, we just leave it and hope someone else picks it up. We have started picking up our dog mess but yet we put it in bags and throw it over a wall or even hang it from a tree. We lock everything up, no longer speak to our neighbours, drive 100 yards to the shops or park outside the school gates to pick up our children, we get nearly everything delivered and criticise everyone and everything via social media.

What have we become and how much further will we evolve into something that no longer cares about others or the world around us? I may sound harsh, but we only have to take a look back over the last 50 years to see how we have changed so much.

Can we become better people by lifting our heads out of our phones, brushing off the corruption of TV and other media channels and just not listening to how society wants us to look, act, feel and think?

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So, what is the answer to an improved us, how do we turn back the clock to a time where we cared more about others and the things around us?

We start by stopping: stopping to reflect on our daily life and the pace at which we are changing society, is the influence we are having on others around us good or bad? What can we do to make a difference to someone else, the smallest of gestures to an individual to the re-uniting of communities, which is something I have encouraged in the ward I represent, which is, Greetland and Stainland.

In my last article I wrote about the influence we have as adults on our children and how we must encourage them to vote in future as this will shape society through democracy, encouraging them to embrace what’s beyond the four walls of our homes is yet another way in which we can ensure the future for them can be improved.

Little things can make a big difference in my eyes, picking up that piece of litter, making time for others around you, walking to the shop or to school, turn off that TV for one day a week and even consider switching off that phone and make time for yourself and your family.

Don’t let society dictate who you are, break away from those influences and become the individual you should be.

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