I still shake my head in amazement that some people, especially those in government, take such a cynical view of the rest of us. Even those with obvious disabilities who are unable to work are deemed fit to do so, with predictable consequences. It is petty and mean spirited when there are those with far broader shoulders who could bear more of the burden. Moreover, using greed, avarice and mean spiritedness as society’s motivating forces is unlikely to get the best out of anyone. Even Sir Alex Ferguson, famed for his reported “hairdryer” treatment of players, said that “Well done” were the words that everyone wanted to hear.
Worse still, is the cumulative effect of this mean spiritedness on society as a whole which is to make it less amenable than it could be. Decency, honesty, courtesy and an amiable good nature being what most of us value in our day to day dealings. Not only that but, as I keep saying to whoever will listen, if you’re good to people, not only will they be good to you, but that you will attract others who are behave in the same way. Together you create a virtuous circle.
Indeed, I would go so far as the say that people who exhibit such meanness of spirit are only able to get away with it because someone else is making up for their negativity. After all, can you imagine a world in which everyone behaved in that way? I thought not. Now you can see, perhaps, why MP’s peculiarly closeted, working conditions mean that they merely reinforce one another’s attitudes to create a sort of white, male, middle aged group thinking which bears little resemblance to the diversity of the world that the rest of us inhabit. Yes, I know that there can be nasty people out there; fortunately they are few and far between and we don’t need to run our society as if we’re all that way inclined.
Now this isn’t sanctimonious, but I can’t really work that way, although prepare for fireworks if you push me too far. What is more, I gain enormous benefit from not doing so and I don’t think that these two are unconnected.
For example, when I wanted to publish my first book, I was quoted a figure far in excess of what I could afford. So that, and a combination of a determination to be able to do things for myself, led me down a different route. Friends put me in touch with other friends with the result that my first two books were published in paperback and Kindle for less than £1,200. This included a book launch. Well, Gaynor and I have made good use of our network of like minded people again recently. You see, my lovely wife is setting up her own concern called “Greening and Growing”. Under this banner, she plans to help schools to make good use of those areas of their grounds that are unused by working with the children themselves to grow things. Well she did a flyer but needed a logo. Are you with me, so far?
In the meantime, I’ve just finished my third book and another good friend is using the specialist software programme that she has to get it published. She is very good and inexpensive. The next stage was designing a front cover and I had a good idea of what I wanted, namely a series of photos taken at various stages of my life. Cue another good friend who has taken said photographs and is designing and producing the cover for me. Now the additional beauty of this is that he is also designing a logo for Gaynor. All this for free. Such are the benefits of treating people decently.