Did I ever say that I love Portsmouth? It’s a bit of a given really as I pretty much enjoy everything – even bad experiences can be appreciated in hindsight. For instance the other day I actually had to watch Amy Childs on TV for more than five minutes and at the time I wanted to die. Luckily I remembered that at some point Amy Childs career will inevitably implode and, if we’re really lucky, it will happen in the most catastrophic way. Look at Jordan, sorry Katie Price – she tries to revive her career on I’m a celebrity and instead the whole nation has the pleasure in voting for her to suffer – until she breaks and quits the show (60,000 cockroaches indeed). Honestly it was reassuring that the nation took it upon themselves to torture the poor talentless woman. Maybe one day she’ll take a step back and write a book or something…
Anyway. I love Portsmouth. I love how in the 9 years I’ve lived here I have seen the city grow and become stronger despite the recession. There are creative enterprises flourishing around the city and people are starting to remember that if they want to improve the place where they live they need to get involved. The city council, despite whatever complaints head their way seem to be trying to invest in the city’s future. So much so in fact that they have been asking for people to volunteer as ambassadors. People who are passionate about where they live and want to help it grow. People like me, and you, and well, anyone really.
I will not lie and say that Portsmouth is perfect. The city needs to capitalise on it’s assets by maximising their appeal. Whatever cash is generated through this should then be put towards two things: short term improvements which have an immediate positive impact on the people and long term investment that aims to help Portsmouth grow in the future. It’s almost like I have a plan! Well I don’t but I am going to volunteer my services to the city. It will probably be fucking awful and I’ll bail out of the idea – cemented by the fact I’d rather sprawl out on the sofa half naked rubbing Leerdammer against my face, than doing something that’s difficult or tedious.
But do you know what, I’d rather try doing something about a problem than moan about it and do nothing. Perhaps if you have a spare five minutes in your life you could contribute something to society. Even picking up some litter outside of your house instead of leaving it there for my dog to choke on. Or perhaps you are one of the many people that I saw that walked past a man collapsed in the street today. Young and old walked or drove by a man who may have been dead for all they knew. It was up to me to go over there and help him. Three minutes he lay there in the street and people did nothing.
Naturally the person wasn’t in any terrible state at all – the paramedics had already been called out twice already and he was passed out thanks to a cocktail of drugs and alcohol. They certainly weren’t fussed about being called out again as when they got him back on his feet they just let him try and walk home to inevitably end up having someone like me call an ambulance when he passes out again – maybe in the middle of the road next time eh?
But then maybe he wasn’t worth our time? Maybe people could see that he was drunk – I know I couldn’t from the other side of the street at work, watching to see if anyone stopped to help him as he lay slumped forwards not moving. Maybe a life lost to heroin and alcohol isn’t worth helping? Maybe its better just to let people call out ambulances and waste time and money than trying to actually help someone long term through community support?
Don’t get me wrong I am as frustrated as anyone else when I see a wasted life impact on other people as well as their own. But then I want to help people like that because I want to make Portsmouth better for all people. I want people to stop worshipping non celebrities and admire genuine brilliance and be inspired to greatness rather than instant gratification. I want people to feel responsible for each other and not just themselves. I want people to embrace personal responsibility and be rewarded by seeing their streets and homes become happier, cleaner and safer places to be.
A system can only work properly when its parts are harmonious. I know I am naive in my optimism but I’d rather try and make things better than put up with things the way the are. So I’m going to volunteer and hopefully one day I may be able to improve things around here a little.