You can’t help but notice that, in this country, we currently live in troubled times. A situation made considerably worse by the fact the circumstances of our travails are self inflicted and likely to have adverse, long time effects. So much so that, even this optimist has become more cynical of the behaviour of those in government. Hence, someone who takes great pleasure in the written word, couldn’t be bothered to write. So, in an effort to break out of my languor, I’m trying to develop some new skills. If you’re interested, please read on.
Those who know me well know that I’m an avid reader, as is Gaynor, my wife. So, it was no surprise that my family gave me books at Xmas. Indeed, you’ll see a selection of them in the photo, taken, of course against a background of just one of our sets of bookshelves. So, what have my Xmas presents got to do with my first blog in two months? Well, if you look carefully, you’ll notice that all the books are nonfiction; something that constitutes about 80% of my reading matter. Ranging from history, ecology, cosmology, anthropology, politics and biographies, along with my family, that library is the bedrock that anchors me.
So, from this you’ll gather that I’m somewhat driven by the need to know; something I later found out was commented on, when I was a child, by lovely my Aunt Doreen, one of the relatives who brought me up. I’m told that she once said “That boy’s got a mind like a sponge. He just soaks up everything.” I take that as an enormous compliment. Moreover, that thirst for knowledge isn’t slaked by the passing years. If anything, it gets stronger.
This quest for knowledge and reason is, however, set within a strong set of beliefs; things that those who are religious would call faith; except that mine have no need of supernatural beings and related to my faith in the essential goodness of, what I would call “ordinary people”. Something which, present times notwithstanding, was amply demonstrated in my work as a charity Director for 20 years. There I witnessed, what a government minister at the time, described as, “the extraordinary abilities of ordinary people”.
So I’m about to start a series of blogs, both written and video, looking at personal and social change. Along the way, I’ll be challenging some of the myths that are perpetuated to maintain the status quo and prevent the emergence of the sort of society that, I suspect, most of us would prefer. On that is based on a little less “Sod you, Jack” and a little more sharing and caring. First, though, I need to work out how to use the video camera!