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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Fighting the endarkenment

We are sliding towards a new dark ages.  The end of civilisation is not guaranteed. The Dutch did after all reject the xenophobe Geert Wilders. But its decline should by now be evident to anyone who thinks about these things....

And that, perhaps, is the problem.

Thinking about other people, about civility and the civic is increasingly rare. Even those whose very identities require them to think about other people because they were created with the express purpose of protecting other people (e.g. the Labour party and the Unions) seem to have become so self-obsessed that they ought to wind themselves up now in moral disgrace.

There is no point whingeing about a narcissist in the White House when there are many more closer to home that we cannot or do not see.

I don't blame the disenfranchised in America for voting for Trump or those in the UK for voting for Brexit or those in Scotland who will soon vote for independence at the second attempt. It is a direct result of knowing that nobody really cares for them.

I don't even blame the Brexit Tories or UKIP. They have always been upfront about their greed and self-interest. Those who voted for them must live with the consequences.

At work I have a simple goal that I can easily explain. I am trying to raise the age at which our society gives up on children. I can see the problem. I can articulate the problem and I can try to do something about it.

In life however, I am currently stumped. The problem seems to be so large and complex that it is impossible to define.  And without a problem statement, we can't really get started on the solution.

Three amazing things have happened in my lifetime: Apartheid ended peacefully, the Berlin Wall came down and Northern Ireland found and fought for an enduring peace [NB I consider all to be more amazing as in unlikely and unlooked for than the moon landing or the Higgs Boson both of which were easily predicted]. All these happened because of our ability to think of others. As Lord Eames said,
'There is no difference in a mother's tearsThere can be no hierarchy of grief."