I HAVE had a few conversations recently with individuals and groups about our community standards and whether they have dropped.
At one group I visited recently one of the lovely ladies handed me a short article that she had copied out of a well-worn book.
I did not get its name but it was obviously well-loved and I would like to reprint the article for you.
It is called My Mean Mother.
"I had the meanest mother in the world.
While other kids had lollies for breakfast, I had to eat cereal, eggs and toast.
"While other kids had cans of drinks and lollies for lunch, I had to have a sandwich.
"As you can guess, my dinner was different from other kids too - as well as the food, we had to eat at a table and not in front of the television.
"My mother also insisted on knowing where we were at all times.
"You'd think we were on a chain gang, or something, she even told us what time we had to be home.
"I am ashamed to admit it, but my mother actually had the nerve to break child labour laws.
She made us work.
We had to wash dishes, make our beds and even learn how to cook.
"That woman must have stayed awake at nights just thinking up things for us kids to do.
"She always insisted that we tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
By the time we were teenagers, our whole lives became even more unbearable.
"No tooting the car horn for girls in our family to come running.
She embarrassed us by insisting that the boys came to the door to get us.
She really raised a bunch of squares.
"None of us kids was ever arrested for shoplifting or busted for dope.
"And who do we have to thank for this. You're right, our mean mother."
There you go.
I am putting out a call for more mean mothers to unite.
Quite often it becomes obvious that many of the old ways were better ways.
Our standards don't have to keep slipping.