No, before you start by jumping to the wrong conclusion this is not a reference to Michelle and I. The last week has revealed to me the good, and the bad in society. It is interesting to realise that all three are around us in many different guises.
Take politics, this week we have MP for Falkirk Eric Joyce getting arrested for the second time in just over a year for assaulting someone in a bar in the House of Commons. This is a person who is elected to represent the people of his constituency. Rather than setting a good example and improving society, this thug seems to believe violence is the way to sort things out. Remember that politicians are the people who decide what laws we are expected to live by. He is currently on police bail waiting for a decision to be made as to whether he is to be charged or not with another assault.
Contrast this with the actions on Friday night of Slough MP Fiona McTaggart who offered to pay £1 to Comic Relief for every retweet of her text making that offer. She ended up having to pay £14,268 which she has done with good grace.
What a contrast between Fiona McTaggart and Eric Joyce.
On the road, whilst cycling/ driving / walking you see similar examples of contrasting behaviour from for example the motorist who careers through a red light because he/ she is in a hurry and forces cars proceeding on a green light to stop for them; then you have the motorist who is patient enough to stop and allow someone who has been waiting patiently out from a side road, or the London Bus driver who slows down to allow a cyclist to complete their overtaking manoeuvre at or near a bus stop. You will all have seen examples of good and bad behaviour on the road. Sadly, we always remember the few bad road users and not the majority of good considerate road users.
I was at the Orient game today against Carlisle. The referee gave a penalty to Orient after an Orient player lost his balance. The referee decided wrongly it was a foul by the Carlisle goalkeeper, and sent the goal keeper off. There were no complaints from any of the Orient fan’s around me at that decision, even though everyone around accepted it was a wrong decision.
Contrast this with the reaction of the same fans a few minutes later when the referee awarded a throw in to Carlisle, when it should have probably been an Orient throw in. Then the same fans called the referee a “cheat” and said he wasn’t fit to referee. I’ll let you imagine the actual words used.
Some things happen though that make you see the good in society.
Friday was as I have alluded to, Comic Relief Day and to raise funds, one member of staff in our office had baked some cakes for the day and was selling them to raise funds. She had paid for all the ingredients herself, and had obviously spent several hours baking, icing and decorating the cakes. Despite this, all the money raised went to the Comic Relief fund. A truly selfless gesture.
In the last few days, I have received several donations or promises of donations to my sponsorship target for the Police Unity Tour. I am grateful for every donation made, but I would just like to mention 3 donations in particular.
One extremely generous donation has come from the USA from a fellow rider and is a very sizeable total that has assisted me greatly to my target. Indeed this person has donate more than everyone else has donated or promised.
Another donation, again from the USA comes from a lady who will be completing the ride for the first time this year. She is a survivor whose father I rode in memory of last year. She has her own sponsorship to raise, but still made a sizeable donation to my sponsorship target. Truly a fantastic gesture and much appreciated.
Finally today at the Orient game, I was chatting to the gentleman who sits next to me about lots of things and I mentioned about the Police Unity Tour. He immediately asked if it was a sponsored ride and when I said it was, he got out his wallet and made a very generous donation. A gesture that makes one appreciate the good that is around us and that we often over look.
I have had other offers of sponsorship from people in the last few days, which comes as a pleasant surprise. Sometimes people make offers of sponsorship that you do not expect. This makes me realise that despite what we think at times, there is so much good around us.
You may recall that in my last blog post I recounted that I had been asked to ride in memory of Jeffrey James Davies (known as Jim), an Englishman who was a police officer in Lakewood, Colorado and who was killed in a tragic friendly fire incident on 9th November 2012. Well this week, I finally prepared and sent an email to Jim’s father, explaining who I was and that I had been asked to ride in memory of his son. I received a telephone call the next evening from Jim’s father thanking me for my email and making arrangements to meet up with me in Washington DC after the bike ride. It is hard to put my finger on what it was, but that phone call from Dick was so inspiring and motivates me to do my upmost to raise sponsorship for the Police Unity Tour.
Please consider making a donation, no matter how small to the fund for the memory of those who gave their lives serving their communities. No one deserves to die simply doing their job.
You can donate via my first giving page (by credit card)
or by sending donations to me Peter Bennett care of 148 Chester Road, ILFORD, Essex, IG3 8PY