What a week it has been, culminating in the announcement of the death of Leonard Cohen. The other issue I won’t dwell on other than to say that I am filled with foreboding and disappointment. The former at the thought that, if his public utterances are any indication, the president elect represents just about everything that can be bad about human beings and little that is good. The latter because a sizeable proportion of the population seems to agree with him. It has not been an edifying spectacle and one that is a real concern compounded, as it is, by what has been happening in our own country. Both countries, by the way, ones that regard themselves as among the beacons of civilised society. I will say no more than don’t you just love irony?
It has also, however, been quite a year, both for me personally and for the dreams that I have. This has been replicated in the wider world with the death of some of the icons of my younger days and others that I valued. And it isn’t about the passing of the years but the fact that, those I still saw as young, are no longer here. Not that they were, necessarily young, rather that, in my mind they remain so. This is especially so when those who die before their time include some who brought joy to so many. It’s as if something of importance has gone along with their, somewhat, unique qualities, the like of which it will be difficult to replace. In this I think especially of David Bowie and Victoria Wood; people whose public persona seemed to match very likeable personal qualities.
As for the dreams that I’ve always had, well that belief in what a better world needs to be won’t go away, thankfully. Caring and sharing not “Sod you, Jack”. Highest common factor not lowest common denominator. A social engine that is driven by humanity’s virtues and not its vices. One is which contributing is elevated above taking. Is it really that difficult? Well, in this, I am reminded of a quote I read somewhere to the effect that wars will only cease when all those who don’t believe in having them refuse to fight.
So, is there an antidote to these trying times? Well, I believe that there is and it’s about helping others and treating people as you, yourself, like to be treated. Rocket science, it isn’t. So, the next time you see someone living on the streets, just dig into your pocket for some loose change and say hello. The latter being as important as the former. After all, they too have dreams and you can help them to come true with so little effort.