This morning I lost a friend. I hadn’t known him long, he was a client of a charity with which I am associated. In the short time that I have spent with my new friend, he was never able to speak, at least not clearly. Yet he was a lovely man with a twinkle in his eye, a man who knew that death was imminent, and yet we spent a few hours together and the smile in his eyes never faded.
I grieve, I am greatly saddened because this small but lovely light has gone out. This tiny dynamo of humanity is no more and we are all the poorer for it.
I have no right to grieve, I hardly knew the man. Yet, in that family home, there is and will remain a simple truth and it is this; none of us can love too much. Here, in a place unfamiliar to me, is grace and kindness of unbelievable power. It has been a privilege to be touched by the selfless giving and patient kindness of this family.
My short relationship is regretted only in that it was so short, but the example of the living and my now departed friend will be with me forever.
I can’t help thinking that we are going to have another almighty crash. Things are changing so fast, our systems of communication, markets and public services cannot possibly keep up. The information age is upon us and is outstripping our ability to manage the consequences
At the same time, the financial well being of a whole generation is being squeezed whilst a few of the very wealthy get wealthier by the day. This seems a recipe for disaster. The stock markets are booming, debt is at an all-time high despite the dismal pay packets for the servants of the economy.
Politicians are beginning to wake up to these massive threats, but sadly tend to look back not forward for solutions. In U.K. the socialists are talking about renationalization whilst the right wing wobbles over the Brexit debate and is in danger of taking its eye off the ball of the impending crash.
In the U.S.A. the POTUS, unpredictable as he is, seems to be turning to protectionism. However, as I predicted last year, Trump’s unstructured and unpredictable behavior may shed light on new ideas. So far we’ve seen some astonishing moves on the Korean Peninsular scene, who knows if Trump may wittingly or otherwise make moves to improve world trade and to discipline the information giants.
This is particularly important in the management of the information revolution which is changing the world on a daily basis. These companies mainly of American origin too big to control and too big to fail, are creating change at an unbelievable rate. From shopping to robotics, information technology is destined to radically change the employment profile of the civilized world and no one it seems can tame these agents of change, or even look honestly into the inevitable chaos that these changes will bring.
Everyone seems concerned about aspects such as personal privacy, just what you would expect. True, the manipulation of millions of pieces of information is truly dangerous and threatens the old order, even the idea of ‘Truth’. But this huge threat is only one aspect of the challenges we face.
Whilst the box is ever bigger, looking outside it is more imperative than ever.
Listen, can you hear the children cry?
From earthquake street or Yemen’s misery
Do you hear the mother’s scream of pain?
As Aung Sang Suu Kyi lies, staring blindly on.
Do you hear the whimpers of the dying child?
As drugs so needed rush too late to their breathless side.
Do you hear the mother’s tears that soak the ground?
In tortured villages that ISIS found.
Do you hear the cries of empty bellies?
In Bangladesh’s soaking drowning fields
Can you hear the buzzing bombs?
That flatten towns and schools.
Listen! Listen! – Will you reply?
To quiet the cries of that child of ours.