Driving with Dipped Headlights

Published: Jan 28 , 2016
Author: Alan Smith

My daughter is a fairly recent and slightly nervous driver.

One of the benefits of the children getting older is that sporadically Dad’s cabs get a Saturday off, and even an occasional lift home from the pub after a couple of cheeky sherbets on a Friday night.

On one such occasion I was surprised to note that my little girl was reluctant to use her full beam when driving, preferring to keep to dipped headlights even in the pitch of night.

If you live in a town or city, that may not be a problem as there is enough ambient light to see all around. However, we live in a pretty remote village. Collisions with deer have gone up by 300% this year.

When I asked her why, she said she preferred to focus on what was directly in front of her and did not want to be distracted by the distance, and what did I know about driving anyway.

No respect these youngsters.

Got me thinking. This morning when I heard about the problems that UK charities are facing in their fundraising efforts, that maybe the ends and the means need to be closely aligned.

UK charities' fundraising activities may be controlled by law unless a new voluntary regulator succeeds in cleaning up the sector, a committee of UK MPs has warned in a report.

No one is doubting that many charities do remarkable work and raise funds that are much needed, but a number of them have overstepped the mark and have apparently hounded and badgered people to give.

In the recent Olive Cook case, a 92 year old poppy seller killed herself after complaining she had been plagued by requests for donations from charity fundraisers - more than 200 letters in one month alone.

While her family said that did not contribute to her death, it did highlight the plight of vulnerable people at the mercy of unscrupulous fundraisers.

In an attempt to hit targets in themselves laudable some collectors and charities have been criticised.

The long term problem this creates may make people more reluctant to become involved in charitable giving, and the reputations of many charities may suffer.

We all have short term urgencies we have to deal with, getting too focused on what is right in front of us may have long term problems we can’t see in our immediate line of sight.

Going full beam should not stop us doing the best we can in the short term, but it might temper the way that we do it.

Alan Smith


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