Just been reading on the Solent TV website about a new survey which says the Isle of Wight is one of the worst places to bring up children. This is based on a survey of the things parents rate most important in an area, and then using statistical information to score each of these, duly weighted. Interestingly one of the important factors was “community spirit” – not quite sure what statistical measure they used for that?
Of course good state schools was at the top, good hospitals not far behind. It started me thinking about the amount of emphasis we place on what the state do.
I think the Island is a great place to raise kids. Lots of open countryside, miles of beautiful beaches, some really knowledgeable local people ready to share their skills and experience with people, good quality local food, relatively light traffic and clean air. But these aren’t things we can use a state statistic to rank how the state is doing. These are things we have to avail ourselves of, not something someone else will serve up.
So much of what makes somewhere a good place to live and raise a family is having some good raw materials, then making the most of them. Yes, I’d like good hospitals, and I can see good state schools might be a help for those who use them, but can’t we make things better ourselves? And when did community spirit become something you can buy into in a good area? Surely you have to help create it.
We’re addicted to the state. We think if they don’t provide, we can’t be happy. Time to wean ourselves off.