Try as I might, I am finding it increasingly difficult to fathom the glaring and often shocking contradictions of modern society.
There are so many mixed messages out there — it's challenging to know where to start.
We have a National Smoke Free Day, for obvious reasons, yet fail to promote to an Alcohol Free Day which, with our appalling history of binge drinking and related deaths, illnesses and accidents, seems to be vastly more vital.
Like the graphic images on a fag packet, when will restaurant tables be adorned with bottles of wine showing the effects of liver damage or foetal alcohol syndrome?
But let's just punish the smoker while we continue to fund and promote the use of legalised heroin through methadone, and continue to sell booze at cheap-as-chips prices.
As far as I can see, a key consequence of rising tobacco costs has been a marked increase in the aggravated robberies of cigarette vendors. Seems a bit counter-productive to me.
Then we have the millions spent to reduce obesity and push healthy eating — but for low-income families, the fat-causing white carbs are about all they can afford while caulis and avocados are going for $7 each and fizzy is cheaper than milk and bottled water.
Next, there are the innocent kids living in poverty with little or no food in the house while youth offenders get to dine on roast beef and honey roasted potatoes or sweet and sour pork with rice and fresh vegetables.
Never mind the logic, where's the bloody fairness in that? I can't even remember the last time I ate roast beef ... it's such a freaking luxury.
Is it any wonder that at least 50 per cent of young criminals come back for more? With arts and crafts and sporting facilities laid on for them and warm, comfortable, insulated rooms ... to many, it must seem like a five-star resort.
Providing such relative decadence will do little to dissuade people from committing imprisonable offences.
And how is it that commuter traffic is kept to a crawl, yet more people are being killed and injured in high-speed police pursuits?
Another mixed message is the one of tolerance and acceptance.
We support the latest trendy cause, with little or no thought, however it's different when it comes to those who may not share our viewpoint.
We expect them to respect our opinion but find it perfectly acceptable to rubbish theirs. Hypocrisy at its finest.
It's a bit like passing a death sentence for murder. Killing someone is illegal ... so your punishment will be being killed. Makes perfect sense to me — yeah, nah.
Let's not forget the ever-increasing homeless. How can anyone expect to find a reasonable solution when many more people are permitted into the country each year as opposed to those who leave it? Basic maths.
I'm sorry, but I'm of the belief that housing New Zealand citizens should be the priority, and if that comes at the expense of a few immigrants, then so be it.
Charity, as they say, begins at home ... if you can find an affordable one.
Speaking of charity, for all our fabulous medical professionals volunteering abroad, how many offer the same free services to the desperately needy and impoverished in their own country?
So you can see why I'm a little befuddled and confused. Am I the only one miffed by the utter madness going on in the world today?
And this is just the tip of a whopping great iceberg that will surely sink us all unless we start applying some much-needed common sense to these crazy contradictions.
Still, in a time when nothing is ever our fault, we can always blame it on mental illness ... and for those who have the power to effect change, that diagnosis may well be correct.
Your high-in-fibre feedback is welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org
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