sitting on the offence

We are offered, free of charge, a great deal of things in this life, some worth taking, others not so much. Offence is surely one of the latter.

We’ve all done it, but why would any of us do so? Might it be connected to our reluctance to show ourselves, be vulnerable? I’m suggesting that it is not what is said or done that can cause offence, so much as how the witness responds.

When I am offended by someone’s actions or words, I recognise something. I have a familiar bad taste in my mouth. Its a knee jerk reaction.

If I’m honest, I have to admit that I recognise whatever it is because the same thing is part of me too. Can I at this point take the juice out of the offence by exposing it?…by gracefully declining to take it?

I’m working on it.

preempt armageddon

Can we?

Clearly something has to change. Humanity is systematically bringing about their own demise, and quite possibly taking the rest of the planet with them. In a way we are witnessing natural law at work. This extraordinary earth has withstood a great variety of violent transformations. Many species have doubtless sprung up and in time become extinct. Is it now our turn?

Well, ours is a unique case. While our consciousness and powers of perception probably operate at least to some extent in other creatures as well, we are as one inclined to feel we are uniquely aware of who and what we are, and have an edge on the rest of the field. So our history is a long saga of bending the rest of creation to our wills.

Inasmuch as this has led to the extraordinarily twisted world we inhabit today, are we now possessed of the self determination to undo what damage we can, exercise care and attention to the rest of the planet and its inhabitants, and transform the way we live sufficiently for this to be possible?

Well, first off, private ownership of cars has to end. The sheer convenience of owning a car is something I’ve taken for granted for a very long time. Its time to get over that. Then we have to stop airplane travel. Like that…Perhaps we can continue to travel by trains and boats, and on communally owned electric vehicles, but clearly our day to day lives would be forced to change radically. 200 years ago, people mostly walked around the neighbourhood of their birth their entire life and never ventured very far. A post modern village life might resurface.

If it doesn’t consume itself beforehand, we need to scrap our lopsided financial system. The greed and deceit it has spawned is at the heart of the forces that are devastating the planet. Widespread panic may well ensue. Suddenly the poor, who have been surviving on next to nothing for generations would have a natural advantage. Essentially people would have to start getting along and caring for each other a whole lot more. This day will dawn, so why not prepare for and then bring it about ourselves?

The level of change from just these two fundamental measures would be total. There would surely be immediate widespread consequences, some of which none of us can even imagine right now. We’d basically have to rethink every aspect of our lives from the bottom up. We could so do it, but I’m afraid what’s more likely is we’ll keep putting it off till some catastrophic disaster comes to pass, and any survivors will have no choice but to start again from scratch.

We have unwittingly created the path to our own extinction. As we slowly are obliged to recognise this, you’d imagine we’d at least start applying the brakes a little. Instead we still seem to have our foot firmly on the accelerator.

one world

I’ve been thinking about homeless people, gypsies, travellers and the like. It may well be that they represent the future, and are unwittingly in training for a post apocalypse reality that is more imminent than we care to consider.

Rather than ostracising, marginalising or mistreating these pioneers, we should perhaps begin appreciating them, helping them if we can, and learning from them.

Our cosy little hi-tech world cannot possibly last much longer, at least not in it’s present form. Let’s get humble, grateful of our earth, and loving of each other.

share reality

I try to acknowledge my fellow creatures. Its not always easy but surely its worth an effort?

Where I live, a hallowed seat of learning in the east of England, you’d be forgiven for thinking many of the human variety prefer to be ignored, not looked at, or spoken to….not approached in any way!

I’m not asking for your hand in marriage, a night in the sack, or the keys to your car; but I don’t want to pretend you’re not there, as if I absolutely didn’t care.

So give us a nod, some sign of recognition, a simple affirmation that this reality is shared.

curmudgeonly chapter 29

Today I was in the centre of Cambridge and clearly October Term is about to begin. In particular I noticed a slew of mums accompanying their young hopefuls to settle in for their first term in this Great Seat Of Learning!

Choosing a bike in the market square, stocking up food in Marks & Spencer, standing outside by the car while the little darling unloads his or her belongings into their new digs….mums at work!

I never went to university, but I went to boarding school. At the age of 12 I was wrapped up, kissed goodbye and put on a train some distance from my destination. That’s how it was. No doting mum making sure I was delivered safely and all my comforts catered for. She had a job to go to.

She didn’t seem worried about what they might feed me. School food was a step or two up from prison rations I expect, but some way short of cordon bleu, and certainly nothing like mama’s home cooking.

For 4 years I was locked up with a flock of Dominican monks, one matron, and about 100 teenage boys for up to 3 months at a time. Not a live girl for miles….

We moved to Cambridge as a family when I was 17. At that time the ratio of men to women was reputedly 8:1. Most of the colleges were boys only. There were a mere 3 girls only colleges. Even the town, outside the university was apparently a bit boy heavy.

I was fresh out of boarding school, back living with my mum(!), and I had hardly spoken with a girl for years. We had to work hard to find girls even to look at, let alone those prepared to talk to us. So we worked hard.

Today I believe all the colleges are co-ed. I marvelled at the throngs of lovely young things swanning around their new playground. Mums delivering you, your Nintendos, bags of groceries, iPad, jim jams, and such and making sure you’re going to be comfortable, and have decent wifi. You guys have got it made!

not like back in my day….