A simple word.
Now I had to write this now or else it would lose its meaning and emotion for me writing this. I’ve just finished watching The Bills, last ever episode after 26 years of the series. I’m not 26, I wasnt even born when it started. I’ve only been watching it for around 10 years myself but as a young girl it taught me so many things. Not least respect. Respect for authority. Respect for the Police for the work that they do putting their lives on the line for us every day. Respect to the actors who were so passionate about their jobs.
I’m sure many of you didnt watch the final episode. I know it lost a lot of popularity in the last few years, which is why its no longer running. But for loyal fans of the show and for anyone who watched it they will have seen some fine acting and cast members filming an incredible ending.
There was no big bang, no car chase, no death, no birth, no drama. It was a fitting end, the station was carrying on its working life like it has done for 26 years. The show itself gave the station some respect in its final moments by not blowing it up. An incredible final shot which featured all 17 cast members as well as numerous extras which was going to be a challenge to pull off, but they did it. And a wonderful ending it was too.
But the respect thing really got me thinking. The Bill itself taught me a great deal of respect. I wasnt allowed to watch it until I was probably around 10, when it was still on at 8pm this was. And I loved it from the start, the first grown up TV I could watch. It was awesome. I loved how true to life it was. How similar to the Met Police it was. Over the years its kept up with the ever changing views towards the police in reality, the rise in attacks on the police. It always stayed current. I obviously didnt just learn my respect from there. I also learnt it from my parents, grandparents, teachers, my primary school headmaster amongst others. But these days the respect isnt there is it?
My Mum teaches a Reception Class. 4-5 Year Olds these children are. They swear. They curse. They hit. They punch. They fight. They ignore. 4 and 5 year olds.
Simba will be 4 in two months time. The thought of him doing any of those things horrifies me. Yet there are children out there that are.
If they are going into school at 4 and 5 with no respect for authority, for others, what hope do we have for when they reach their teenage years. No wonder there is the gang culture that we have. The violence. The crime.
Jack Meadows in his final speech on The Bill said something very true. The meaning of respect has changed. And that it has. To these teenagers and youths respect has a whole other meaning, a meaning that if broken can end up getting themselves killed. A seven letter word that can leave our teenagers for dead.
Its a scary world we are bringing our children up in.