No Easy Answers…

It would be nice to believe in easy answers, but I don’t think there are any. The imposition of capitalism on nearly the whole world is at the root of our problems. The idea that money is what the world revolves around is central to how most people live to ay. We have lost sight of so much that is central to making us feel worthwhile, making us feel good about ourselves.

If we were to remove the current government from office, what would they be replaced with? We have seen the disasters that have followed revolutions in the past. And always in violent confrontations the most violent wins out. This is not what we need.

If we were to disband the IMF (oh please, I wish we could) how long would it be before the governments that it has infected with it’s capitalist corporatism realise that it has sent them down the wrong road?

What we need to do is not be violent, nor be passive and accepting, but to educate… to work to get people from as many walks of life as possible to see that there is nothing more valuable than a human life (or any other animal); that we need to value each other for who we are; that economics is just a way of trying to understand the movement of money, not a value system to run the world.

Empathy, kindness, compassion, love and understanding are what we need. The ability to see that people make bad choices, not because they are bad people (most of the time), but because they don’t understand what is happening for others, or why other people are important. They lack the emotional maturity to understand that other people are both real and important, not just tools to be used and the discarded.

We don’t need money to have a good life, an abundant life, full of love and laughter, we need people for that!

People are our lives

I have a small problem with one of my shoulders. It’s not serious, most of the time it’s little more than uncomfortable, occasionally it’s painful. The doctor and consultant both want me to have physiotherapy. The local hospital can do it, but I have to wait “up to 26 weeks” before they will send me a letter inviting me to contact them to make an appointment.

So if you were wondering about how meaningful targets on waiting times are, I think I can confidently say, they are completely meaningless.

Now, I’m not criticising the people who devised this wonderfully creative way of keeping them and their staff out of the shit, I know how creative one can get when backed into a corner, I’m criticising the nonsense way of approaching health care as if it is a business rather than a service.

I believe the main reason that the NHS and all the other services are struggling so much is because they have been shorn of their most valuable resource, staff.

Business theory is that employees are your greatest expense, and that if you can “downsize” your staff then you will make more profit. This only works in businesses where the staff are not committed to their work, where they do not work because they love what they are doing, but where they work because they “have to”. And even then it only works in a very limited way.

For a service where care of other people is the raison d’etre most staff work because they care, then when they are put under pressure to work as if it is a business they lose their will to do anything very much.

As in so many other areas, the problem is much more with government and management psychology rather than the service itself. So much of modern life revolves around the mistaken belief that money and economic theory (and it is only a theory) rather than the knowledge that people are important… There’s not a society, a family, only the rest of nature, without people.

People are our lives: community; care; consideration; sympathy; empathy; friendship; love; without these things, we are nothing.

The End Of My Nose…

The end of my nose isn’t too far from me. I’m quite pleased about that. However, I do try and look beyond it pretty much all the time (I go cross-eyed if I don’t). It worries me that so many people, especially people in positions of authority, seem not to even try.

That which is obvious to me may not even be visible to you, because my life has furnished me with different experiences to yours. This is good. It would be the most terribly dull world if we were all exactly the same. But to live in a world where we are all different means that we all need to try and see things from a perspective other than that of looking down our own noses and stopping at the end of them.

I don’t want to walk a mile in your boots, I do want to be able to imagine what it would be like to do so. Even if I did walk a mile in your boots my experience would be different from yours because I am not you. But I have a good imagination, I would probably do a better job of imagining than I would of fitting into your boots.

What is needed are empathy and understanding, to put ourselves in the position of someone other than who we wake up to be every day. It isn’t always easy. I struggle to understand people who lack empathy, and to be brutally honest, it’s hard to see why I should empathise with them, but I try. I think I achieve a limited success. I can see they are damaged individuals, and to a certain extent I feel sorry for them, but not very because of all the pain they cause other people as they trample on feelings and manipulate and abuse their way through their lives.

The other problem with not looking beyond the end of your nose is that you can’t see the bigger picture. For some people this must seem wonderful, they can focus on one little detail and build their world around that. These kinds of people seem to delude themselves into thinking that this makes them feel safe. I can’t see that it does, because lurking in the background of their consciousness is the awareness that they are ignoring most of the world. I would expect this to make them feel very scared and insecure.

Then there are all the people who think they see the bigger picture when they don’t. They are looking from a particular perspective that means that much of what happens is blocked from their view. People like these will often try and belittle you and influence you to compromise your morals, because they believe the bigger picture is more important than you. This is not true.

The bigger picture is stitched together from all of us, all of our behaviour, all of our lives. Each one of us makes a unique and important contribution to the bigger picture. This is where Gandhi’s saying that “you have to be the change you want to see” makes perfect sense.

So, be proud of the end of your nose, it is an important place… and then look beyond it. 🙂

Taking Control of Our Lives – Part 1

In our British culture it is very easy to feel both powerless and isolated. These feelings are engendered in part by the divide and rule policies of the mainstream British media – exhibited par excellence by the press.

What many people don’t know, or understand, is that we do NOT have a “free press”, the vast majority of newspapers, as well as the “non-terrestrial” TV are owned by a very small number of very wealthy corporations.

These businesses believe that they have a vested interest in keeping things as they are. They, like the majority of corporations, are run to make as much money as possible for their shareholders. They have no other interest. They support their “friends”, that is people who may give them money, or people who may pass laws that will give them more money or protect that which they already have.

Their politics are actually that of their owners. They may appear to be working class (on the side of the working person) but it is a sham and manipulative empathy, designed to make sure that all the poor do not realise that they have infinitely more in common with each other (regardless of race, religion, gender or any other superficial and spurious difference that the media might focus on) and even the traditionally middle class, than they do with the selfish, self-serving media moguls and the politicians who dance to their tune.

They make it very difficult for ordinary people, like you and I, to realise where their true interests lie. This problem has been amplified in the last year or so through the surrender of the BBC to their political oppressors. No longer do they even attempt to provide unbiased and informative news. They have refused to report large scale protests, for example the 10s of thousands of people in the various Marches Against Austerity, and the under reporting of the March For the NHS… they will not stand up to the Ca-moron government of 2014.

The social media is our best hope for finding like minds and mutual support outside of our physical reach. We have to continue to take the power back from both the media and politicians.

Mentally Well?

It’s mental health awareness week. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. We have a government who seems to be quite happy to send it’s own citizens to the very depths of depression, even to suicide. And the government’s behaviour seems to be rooted in a total absence of empathy, which seems pathological in its completeness.

What to do? If we lived in a true democracy (a true democracy is where every one who has the right to vote, has the right to vote on every policy decision) then there would be ways we could vote against their insanity. But we don’t. As I have explained before we live in an elective dictatorship. In the recent past no government would dream of behaving the way the current Ca-moron band of chums are.

Lets go back to the origins of our political system. After the usual local structures of power we eventually ended up with a monarchy. Not a great political system, but a common one. We had one particular king who pissed his mates off big time. Eventually, after they had tried being reasonable with him, they strong armed him into signing what has become know as the Magna Carta. This was an agreement between the king and his lords.

This agreement is the root of our current political system. This is a problem because, it wasn’t about respecting ordinary people, it was about safeguarding the position of the already privileged. All through our history until very recent times the vast majority of laws passed by what became parliament, have been about keeping property safe, or about keeping money in the right person’s pocket.

There has been a certain amount of fairness built into the system, sometimes even intentionally. But the law in Britain has always left something to be desired as far as the unprivileged masses are concerned. Never more so than now.

We are entering uncertain times. Predictions of doomsayers from the 1970’s and 80’s are finally starting to look like they really are coming true. We really are starting to run out of oil. The world is poisoned and struggling to make enough pure air and water to keep the humans alive.

If we are to save anything we need to be acting in a proactive way. Putting improved (for our survival) systems in place. What we have is a reactionary government that is so scared of the world, they want to cocoon themselves in money, because that will make all the nastiness go away. They don’t realise that their own thinking is mentally unwell…