I have long been interested in history, from the distant past and prehistory to the more modern age. In my safe first world chair I used to wonder at what it would be to live like in unsettled times. Yes, I was born during the cold war and we had the threat of nuclear annulation hanging over our heads but I was a child and didn’t have too many sleepless night over this.
We have had recessions which meant that I was unemployed or unemployable (another story for another time) and various conflicts: The Troubles in Northern Ireland when I was growing up; the Falklands War as I coming to adulthood: The Gulf Wars covering a reasonable percentage of my life. For the most part these were happening somewhere else and were visible on the television and then our computers and other devices as demonstrations that countries push each other around, despite the overwhelming lesson of history that such efforts are incredibly expensive and do not achieve much in the long run.
I feel that now, the universe is giving me my time in the dark. It is only fair and with a bit of luck I shall die before it gets too bad of old age. Shall we count (some of) the ways?
- Climate change – it is happening, and we are not doing enough to mitigate its effects. We shall be more active when London starts to sink beneath the Thames, no doubt.
- War – Ukraine is now and sabres are rattling around Taiwan, North Korea, Iran – let’s face it too many places.
- Right wing authoritarianism – this is on the rise, and is popular amongst the ruling classes. It will be much better for them to sweep away the pretence of democracy (not that we have one1) and just get on with things. Non of these things seems to be acting in the best interests of their people.
- Inequality – the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. But, that is their fault isn’t it.
- Plague – Covid has exposed us to the dangers of such an interconnected world, someone can get sick on China today and another in Madrid the next day.
I could go on, but I won’t. My medication is only so strong.
So, what, you may ask is the purpose of this musing, apart from ‘Winter Is Coming’? Exorcising my demons? Sharing my misery?
I think it is – the not-for-profit sector is needed now and for the future foreseeable. Human beings seem to have a predilection for making the lives of other human beings miserable. And, until we have found a way to stop people thinking like that then we need to do all we can to keep our caring alive.
It difficult at times. Every day brings more problems, big and small. The sheer relentlessness of it all is overwhelming. I try to concentrate on the small things, the good things and think that if we all do small good things then it will make a difference. Others have a faith, a passion. Some, just determination. Whatever it is, I wish us all luck for the times to come
1We have an unelected second set of lawmakers. Why? Tradition! An unwritten consitituoin does not help. This from the ‘Mother of Parliaments’.