Anyone who knows me well will be aware that, for most of my life, I have felt at odds with the world. Childhood events meant that this was something that was thrust on me and over which I had no control. From then on, I wore my difference like a suit of armour; it defined me. Indeed, it was something that I was proud of. However, it came with costs which I was unaware of for most of my life. Among those costs was empathy, which I have now discovered, and find somewhat uncomfortable. The other, probably related one, was not realising that thousands of people probably feel much as I do and this, despite the fact that I have dealings with like minded people much of the time. Well, recently, that penny has also dropped.
Now, throughout that life, I have met people who have behaved well and others less so. Much of my work in the voluntary sector has been in getting people to work together in a common, usually, social cause and, in this, I have had some success. That is not to say that I have only worked with people who agreed with me. What I haven’t done, however, is met too many who were inherently nasty. Yet, there are people in the upper echelons of government, business, commerce and the media among other sectors, who behave as if many, if not most, of us, are motivated by greed, avarice, envy or any of our other less appealing qualities; our vices, in fact. They then try to divide us on the basis that some are shirkers and some are strivers in life. Well, there may be people who are less keen on work than others, although that rather misses the point. Which is, whether we are motivated solely or primarily by financial reward. The answer, like much else in life is that, it depends on circumstance and situation.
Now, as you will gather, I am heartily sick of people who use their power exploit others in order to create great wealth and more power for themselves while dressing that up as being the only way. There are alternatives, one of which is to create a society based on our virtues of co-operation, caring, sharing and a common effort towards sustainable goals. And for those who say that this will never work, I would challenge you to describe how what we have at present could be defined, by any stretch of the imagination, as “working”.