Wasting Time.

No work, no where to go, nothing to do

all very tiring, wearing out my soul,

Listen to the silence of many books read

Some entertaining, some right over my head.

Space is suddenly everywhere, yet no room

for me and my fading patience staring

bullishly at the blank wall of my existence.

Looking back, even that is fading to limitless grey,

nearly as far as the horizon of my emptiness

Looking forward to nothing, how comfortable

will that be, if I switch off, and choose to

ruffle the sofa, the snoring grunting breath

Of time passing, and eating me and you

 in its hungry vacuity with no horizon.

Look again, its beautiful!

I was reminded this morning that today is the start of South East Asia awareness month, in the context of BLM this is a timely page turner. The breadth of human kind is astonishingly wide, yet we tend to be enveloped in our own tribe. As I said in an earlier blog we tend to be afraid of strangers, and defend our own kind. Hence the birth of prejudice and racism.

If only we’d take a fresh look at all the beautiful people, no matter what their origin, how refreshing that would be. Some are so lucky because of a gifted life they have travelled widely and known many people from many tribal backgrounds. For these lucky few it is easy to see the wonders of difference. Where there is no threat, there is almost always generosity, where there is need there is kindness.

In our crowded cities, the only thing that stands out is the differences; of rich and poor, of racial grouping, and religious observance. Yet, if we look for common good, there it is under our noses. If only we would engage, if only we would smile, if only we would look and see what beauty there is every face.

Look again my friends, and see our glorious world.

Facts and Opinion.

It frightens me that as I grow older, the idea that I could trust absolutely institutions such as the BBC and most national newspapers, is less well founded. Now, alas, it seems that ‘social media’ has bulldozed its way into the mainstream definitions of truth.

I get impatient with the unnecessarily aggressive style of political interview where arguments are so perfunctory that aggression seems to win the point. He who shouts last, shouts loudest, seems the order of the day.

I am not for one moment saying that politicians and others should be allowed to get away with shoddy arguments. However I would like to see political correspondents and others allow their prey to develop decent arguments without jumping down their throats half way through their responses.

Listening seems almost a lost art. For example, the present pandemic is a constantly moving phenomenon, and those in power at all levels are doing their best to respond effectively. Yes, I agree they’ve made mistakes, but who would not. I am fed up with broadcasters leaping on past errors with such relish, whether it be an action recommended too early or too late.

We are living through a uniquely difficult time where two things count more than ever. The truth and tolerance. Baloney theories on social media are needed like a hole in the collective head. To help us nurture truth and tolerance we need the mainstream media to restore our faith with care and respect for the listener.

Media king pins, seem to have been captured by the allure of celebrity, and in so doing forgotten their pursuit of truth.

It is also clear to me that the mainstream social media is focussed on money rather than truth. Celebrity and materialism sum up what drives our media today. Neither it seems to me, spells a particularly ennobled future.

Where Angels fear to tread.

I am very lucky to have many friends from many backgrounds, and they all matter to me. They matter as human beings and all of them slide in and out of focus according to our contact.

I wrote a blog a little while ago which agreed with the BLM campaign and since then I have learned a good deal more. That learning came about quite by chance. Last month in the garden of a lovely condo complex in St Kitts I got into conversation with four friends two of whom were ladies of colour from the USA. Both ladies are lovely to share time with, both mature, both beautiful, both extremely articulate.

The crucial stage of our discussion came when one of the ladies said, “Things are improving, for us in the USA.”

The other, replied, her voice raised “Why should they be improving, why do we need improvement? I’ll tell you why, because we’ve been treated like pieces of shit all my life, and I’m fed up with racism, every minute of every day.”

Her impassioned cry hit me hard, I saw in her anguish, the hurt of a whole life skewered on the horns of racism. I felt then, and I feel now like crying. I hope more people feel like crying, feel moved to do something to turn this ghastly sin of so many generations, What will it take?

“I’m going to vote for Trump.” she said.

After a sharp intake of breath, I implored, “Why, oh Why? You must be crazy!”

“I’m not crazy, another turn with Trump as President and the US will burst into flames and we’ll see real change. It’s the only way, there’s no middle road, the prejudice is too deep, we need to tear up the good old US of A and start again.” She smiled at me, “It’s the only way.”

My mind is blank, I pray she is wrong, I can do no more than weep.