Power To All Our Friends…..

So I ‘do’ poetry and fantasy and sensuality. A little eroticism goes a long way for me too. I ‘do’ family and politics. And pretty much anything that comes up my humph if the truth be told. And I’m partial to the truth. Even though it hurts sometimes.

There’s something of a crisis occurring on this little planet of ours. And all the sex and romance in the world can’t nullify its presence.

Huge stuff.

Stuff that puts matters of shagging and candlelit dinners into the shadows. Stuff that affects us all. And our kids.

There’s a power battle going on. Yup. Let’s call it evil and good. Devil versus God. Call it what you will. Well, no. For the sake of argument and clarity let’s call it what it is.

It is the battle between selfishness and the well-being of humans as a species.

Have I got that quite right? Let me think. Certain individuals acting individually or corporately to further their own ends here ensuring a world of humanity destined to servitude and alienation from self-determination and continuity of a thinking and free species?

Would that be about right?

Now, I’m no expert on anything. Other than, possibly, the method and manner of primary education and child development. I studied that shit. Well, I passed papers on it. And I’ve practised it for around thirty years. So, something of an expert I’d hazard.

Also, I have to admit, family members (who shall remain nameless) have accused me of having more brains than common sense. I’ve had to own up to that a fair few times I have to admit. Embarrassing moments when, well, never mind when. ‘Nuff said.

So I get that I’m no guru. Nor wizard of any description. I’m not even up on some of the current news happenings because they depress the hell out of me.

But I do know a few things.

I recognise common sense when I see it. I do think. I’m not always right. Although don’t tell my weans and man that.

But there’s an awful lot of stuff coming together for me at the moment.

Oh, first let me warn some people that this could get political.

Sorry, scratch that. It is political. It’s also spiritual. It’s also practical. It has its roots in humanity and a god I believe and trust in. A god who gave us the free will to get on with it. The capacity to think. And a source of love that is endless and self-generating once harnessed.

Now, I know that Cole would maybe have issues with the god part but she’s so cool she’ll allow it. Each to their own as it were. She’s so cool ice freezes further in her presence before melting under her persuasive and reasoned arguments. And the heat of her passion for right. She epitomises for me an upbringing of stellar quality, so obviously surrounded by love and logic that reaches out to embrace humanity and clarify some misguided notions. She wants a better world. Speaks for a better educated populace that is capable of reasoning and value judgements that go beyond myths and legends. Even while she loves and knows the myths that created much of what we believe. How cool is that?

Now I separate here with her on the presence of omnipotent forces. But I also feel that my faith and hers are so similar in essence.

Like Beth, a woman of thought and feeling, I share their desire and hope for a better world to leave our children. For a better world that we can live in right here and now. Beth is so on the mark with common sense and intellect. So practical. And articulate. She’d sure as hell make a better job of this post than me.

Both Beth and Cole have written extensively on education and the demerits of its current state in each of their countries. I’ve written a bit about it myself.

Aspirationally, every culture once sought to educate their children to the point, at least, of literacy and numeracy. Teachers engaged in this as a priority. Some took rather strange routes to achieving this aim I grant you and not all of them laudable.

But, in literacy especially, and in exposure to thoughts written and recorded from the beginnings of time we learn about our world. In the humanities we reach and delve into the commonality of human experience and seek our place in becoming explorers of a brave new world.

Unless, of course, education is dumbed down. Unless, of course, it benefits some higher authority to produce semi-literate individuals whose driving force is survival and fear. Or articulate beings but whose motivations are other than communal growth and welfare. Where is the brave new world and the hope of all our futures? Where are the original thinkers of a new dawn as each generation must prove to be?

Where is the action?

Currently, governments the world over are being manipulated and, more likely, controlled by bodies that do not represent the people they were elected to represent.

Yeah, yeah, conspiracy, blah.

Well if I’m paranoid it’s only because I can tell when some big bastard is following me. I hear them breathing, I sense their presence, I see their footprints when I look behind me. I know when I’m about to be shafted. The signs are there. Let’s face it, it’s not really ‘about to be’. We are currently being screwed by entities that exist to serve self. These entities, however, are no demons wrought from mythology. Rather, they are the personification of the greed and selfishness inherent in us all if we choose not to control those instincts for a more valid and worthwhile national and global state of affairs.

Now I don’t know about you but when I succumb to pleasures of the flesh I say if, I say when, I say who, I say yes. Or no.  Even in the lawfully binding contract of marriage I have authority over my own person.

I want to view the family as the epitome of government.

OK not all families operate under the same rules. But the common factor usually, or ideally, is a desire to further the individual membership while retaining a sense of the whole and working together towards an advancement of individual talents and worth, while not destroying the fabric of the whole support system.

It doesn’t always work. More’s the pity.

But, in whatever form the family takes, where there is love and a desire to cultivate that love through education and acknowledgement of its intrinsic, unique and constituent parts there is hope. Hope that new and brave ideas germinate and take root. Hope that the world continues. That it recognises that humanity is but a blip on the planet and, without intervention on all our parts, the world may continue but we may not. Not in any sense worthy of recording in history.

Gawd, I’ve gone off on one.

This is so not what where this post was leading.

Let’s see if I can break the habits of a lifetime.

Power.

Literally and metaphorically.

Is it just me or has anyone else spotted the obvious?

On this gorgeous big planet of ours there is a renewable source of energy in every country. Every single one. Name one where the sun doesn’t shine. Or wind doesn’t blow. Or waters don’t flow. Even if we only have one out of three we have the capacity to generate power repeatedly.

We in Scotland would have to depend more on the water and wind option. But I’m good with that. Might as well get some benefit from the crap weather.

Tell me. Is there a place on earth where some renewable form of energy does not exist?

Might the ability and will to generate it be the answer to some of the conflicts that abound worldwide?

Yes there will always be greedy bastards who want to make more from whatever sources they can conjure up, manufacture trouble where peace could exist. Carve out of the earth cash and chaos where order and sustenance could prevail.

But that’s kind of where education comes in. If we know. If we care. If we have the will.

I knew I’d get there in the end.

Just always takes a bit of time with me.

And I know. Before anyone says it. It has been mentioned by family members (who shall still remain nameless) that I could personally supply the grid with enough air to supply the needs of Scotland for generations to come. But I’m kinda good with that too.

Now, Cliff Richards kind of says what I’m saying and you’ve got to have a laugh in the midst of all the serious stuff. So, If you can take his words seriously while doubling up at the costume and dance routine so much the better. Who knew, Steve, that the Eurovision Song Contest would feature in one of my posts? Not me, that’s for sure. But more power to it if, occasionally, we get classics like this!

Please take the time if you can to check out the links mentioned. You won’t be sorry. The world needs people of this calibre. I’m proud to follow their thoughts and journey.

 

 

 

 

Equality and Effort

I started off writing a comment on a fellow blogger’s page after she had linked to the Mirandasings video that I had posted called, ” I Don’t Support Equality”..

The blogger enjoyed the post and it got her thinking about equality and inequality in terms of talents and abilities and in terms of people’s rights. I agreed with her that we are not equal in talents or abilities although equality of human rights must be observed as she also stated.

I then realised that I was going somewhere else with my comment – as those of you who know me know I’m inclined to do. 😉

Hence this post.

I suppose what drives most people batty is the idea of inequality based on human rights. In the UK any perceived violation of human rights can be referred to the European Court where certain agreements are in place to protect the rights of individuals as human beings. People have done it and legislation has changed to reflect any injustice. In the US I guess that would come under your Constitution.

Nowadays it seems a nonsense in our culture to think that women once did not have the right to vote. You should hear my daughters on that one. They just can’t imagine that this was ever the case. One of them last night was asking me why women in the workforce were ever paid less. (Not that it still does not happen). There followed a history lesson.

I completely agree that we are not equal in talents and abilities and what a boring world it would be if that were the case.

However, there is an identified hierarchy of human need that has to be recognised when we speak of equality for people and these rights are paramount, I feel, when we argue for equality.

450px-Maslow's_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow’s_hierarchy_of_needs

What I can’t bring myself to feel comfortable with is that some talents and abilities are more recognised as valued than others and so we have crazy situations where footballers are paid a fortune for their skill with a ball and, of course, the effort they put in to acquiring that skill.

We have politicians whose ‘skill’ in their field may have less to do with their innate ability than other forces that come into play e.g. a thirst for power or glory, an ability to articulate and/or be presentable to the public, a family tradition of politics (unless we choose to call those innate abilities, I suppose).

We have models whose looks rather than talent determine their success in their field. Although we could argue that this too is innate good fortune.

We have movie stars and pop stars whose individual talents may or may not far outweigh the accumulated talents of so many others. But does that mean their efforts are any more worthy than those of ‘untalented’ people?

What really concerns me is that there are millions, well billions, of people getting up every day and putting in the effort to be active, work (if they can and if they are able to find it), to try their best at whatever they do and the reward, in terms of material return, in no way reflects the effort.

We could argue that it is more difficult for people with minimal talent to achieve great success and therefore their efforts must be worth more – that they try at all.

When we come back to the hierarchy of human needs we could argue that as long as we have the bare minimum at the first two levels we’re sorted. But, if that is the case, why do we all strive for more than the minimum? I think we all, or most of us, want to achieve that highest level. But what are the chances of that when basic needs are not met? And there are so many reasons why those needs may not be met. Not all of them self-inflicted as some politicians and others would have us believe.

There is a growing tendency to look at the ‘have-nots’ with some disparagement as if they choose not to have or to depend on the state for basic requirements.

I know of no one whose basic needs are met while depending on the state. And I know quite a few people whose inability to manage with what is received results in loss of electricity and heating. Results in doing without what many consider to be basic essentials. people who either are unable to work or for whom no work is available.

First priorities always include food and shelter. These are two on the lowest most basic level of human needs. And they both cost!

Perhaps that’s why sex is so popular. It’s free!

Why else is there a growth in food banks? Why else are so many at risk of losing their homes? Why else are so many children still living below  the recognised poverty line? No amount of ‘handouts’ from the state matches the level needed to avoid that.

Sure, there are some who abuse the system. But the percentage is miniscule compared to the percentage lost through tax fraud.

fraud chart_1http://www.cas.org.uk/features/myth-busting-real-figures-benefit-fraud

Inequality is alive and kicking. Not always because of differentiated talents or abilities. But because we as a society value certain skills more than others. As long as we are prepared as a world to pay millions for the work of dead artists and millions for talented footballers we are telling most of the world population that effort does not matter. That dragging yourself out of bed everyday and doing your damndest in whatever it is you’re doing isn’t worth the effort needed to do so. As long as we listen to purveyors of distorted truth and cite laziness or licence as the reason for hardship rather than economic mis/management and inequitable policies, practices and perceptions, there will be inequality.

Get Up MM900285266MH900358961

Einstein may have been right when he said that genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. But in our world the perspiration seems to count for very little. Regardless of the fact that it is the perspiration of the vast majority that keep the wheels of government and commerce going round.

The fellow blogger mentioned above asked at the end of her post,

“What do you think? Is equality possible? Or should we focus on encouraging and developing our personal talents?”

It may be Utopian to imagine that equality is possible given that we are so varied as humans. And it’s great that we are. Let’s develop those talents and innate abilities and attributes. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that, for most people, it will not be their talents that take them to work each day or get them out of bed to tackle whatever their day may hold. It will be the effort involved in believing that another day in life has to be accomplished as best they can even while unappreciated.

Now how do we change a value system that no longer appears to support or accommodate the realisation of our basic human needs?

Now here’s a Scots comedian who knows what I’m talking about. Maybe I should just have posted this in the first place. 😉