There is something so sweet about seeing children selling lemonade in the summertime. Who does not like a refreshing cup of lemonade served to them by young innocent children…More so in the heat of the British summer? The excitement with which the little chaps receive each penny is absolutely heart-warming.
Not to mention the perks that it offers for the child, as it teaches them about buying and selling. It is like their first experience with feeling the reward of money earned over hard work. Okay, so maybe selling lemonade is not all that hard, but to a five-year-old, it sure is quite the big deal.
England native, Andre Spicer was pretty excited when his five-year-old daughter approached him and ask for permission and a few necessities to set up a lemonade stand outside their home.
This was what she thought was an idea out of this world and was extremely excited about getting it started. At five years, of course, we would duly understand her joy once the request, made with such childlike glee, was granted.
Her professor father was very happy to see that his little girl wanted to make a little cash and learn the value of hard work. She was surely showing her business acumen at so tender an age!
Things were going great after they set up the stand and her little money tin cum piggy-bank was filling up fast. Then the cops descended! The mood was immediately soured when local officials from the council office branch approached the youngster’s stand and handed her a hefty fine…hefty for her age and intentions we dare to add.
“The lemonade quickly disappeared and her little money tin filled up. A happy scene ” narrated the disappointed father. “And then, after about thirty minutes, four local council enforcement officers stormed up to her little table.”
The thoughtless officers accused the infant and her father of engaging in trade without a permit- a thing which is against the law of course. They promptly slapped the duo with a ninety-pound sterling fine. They told the latter that if it was paid quickly enough, the fee would not go up.
Quite obviously, the little girl was upset if not perturbed. And she broke down in tears, afraid that she had done something wrong. It took quite an amount of consolation and positive assurance for the dejected lass to eventually calm down.
“She was very upset and had to watch Brave a few times to calm down,” said Mr. Spicer, of his daughter who remained forlorn for days, even after she had dried her tears.
Brave is a 2012 American 3D Computer animated fantasy comedy-drama motion picture in which Merida, daughter of a Scottish king defies overweening tradition to courageously carve her own path in life. The film bagged an Oscar for its poignant theme.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, a movie reviewer, the film offers young audiences and fairy tale fans a rousing, funny fantasy adventure with a distaff twist and surprising depth – probably the kind that got the shattered little girl to regain her mojo.
Extremely disappointed by the inconsiderate officers’ action, the academic decided to share his frustration about the difference between an unlicensed street trader and a child’s fledgling lemonade stand. He had not hoped for any stern action really.
He thus took to Twitter and wrote to the town authorities, Tower Hamlets Council sharing his frustration about the unfortunate altercation and went on to say that ‘he realized there were broader issues at stake, including how society treats children.’
Luckily for all, Tower Hamlets eventually decided to drop the charge and shared the following fence-mending statement with Spicer and his entrepreneurial daughter.
“We are very sorry that this happened. We expect our enforcement officers to show common sense, and above all, to use their powers sensibly. This clearly did not happen,” the representative contritely pronounced. “The fine will be canceled immediately and we have contacted Prof. Spicer and his daughter to offer our apologies.”
Clearly, the officers should have thought twice before they bombarded the little girl’s innocent lemonade stand. Not only did they make a big deal out of nothing but they also crushed the little girl who witnessed the entire exchange between her father and them.
After all, were all officers to operate this way, we would not be having world renowned entrepreneurs and investors like Berkshire Hathaway chairman, Warren Buffet who is now a billionaire). Mr. Buffet honed his fabled business skills as an industrious newsboy on the enabling streets of Omaha, Nebraska during the Great Depression.
Owing to the actions and inactions of these officers, there is a good chance that our dotting professor’s baby girl is always going to regard officers with apprehension and fear and will always question if she is doing something wrong, even when unnecessary. Surely, a citizenry motivated by fear of their elected authorities and duly appointed representatives is not the future we envision!
While the law is fairly black and white, and is appropriately so, there are several instances that require the exercise of common sense and proper judgment. This was certainly one out of a myriad of them. This was also a chance for these officers to showcase the human side of law enforcement.
Unfortunately, as we now know, it was not to be so. Hopefully, these overzealous officers will think before they so unbendingly approach such an innocent venture next time. We also eagerly await the day we shall highlight an inspiring incident of impulsive execution of lawful vigilance when it happens…if not only to encourage other law enforcement bodies around the world to pick a leaf.
As to be expected, commenters were disgusted by the power trip that was displayed by the officers and was rather quick to offer inclement comments, some bordering on the highly critical. A number too involved crass language directed at law enforcement agencies in general.
From those comments, we have selected this one of more measured tone in which a reader angrily vented their frustration in these few words,
“Bureaucrats showing their power. Badgering a child.”
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