I have just been stopped in the street and asked to give money to Help the Aged. "But surely," I said to the guy who approached me, "longevity is a cause for celebration not for charity. Why should I give money to people just because of the number of years they have been around?"
Not surprisingly, he was completely flummoxed.
The above-named, well intentioned charity needs to insert a word in its title which tells us exactly what the aged need help with - because to be impoverished, disabled, mentally ill, arthritic, homeless, destitute, bereaved, unwanted, battered, abused, phobic, alcoholic, chronically sick or lonely (the sorts of thing I guess they want money for) are problems which beset people at each and every stage of life.
What about helping those at the other end of life's spectrum who are thought of as a waste of space just because their heads are covered in hoods.
Why do we treasure and protect historic trees with names carved on them and yet feel that the world is about to fall apart at the seams when we see the result of a one-night spree with a spray-can by someone from our own time?
Initiates must be allowed the chance to get things wrong without having their mistakes promoted into offences. We have all behaved irresponsibly at some time in our early years - even if only by looking on unchallenging as tougher souls in our own crowd 'practised to annoy.'
Starting out in the world of work is a daunting task even for the boldest amongst us, and many a novice tries to cover fear with bravado or seeming nonchalance.
It's not up to fledgling employees to stumble upon the things that are expected of them. Given the right kind of encouragement those attempting to clamber onto the first rungs of the employment ladder would not feel the need to crawl up fences and scrawl on walls to make their presence felt.
Employers and managers need to put themselves out to find ways to engage with initiates and learn what makes them tick, otherwise a whole generation of workers will become defunct.
Now that really could make society fall apart at the seams.