The Testing Time That is November

It’s been, to say the least, a very strange week and one that puts even my optimism to the test. Tomorrow is the 68th anniversary of my mum’s death and we, currently, have another close family member who is very ill. What is it about November? Miserable, damp, foggy evenings that herald the end of the year and, it seems, much else that we hold dear. On top of all that, a few,  very disturbed people, brainwashed by some very evil people, who seem to think that they can impose their misguided views on others who don’t share them, decide to murder as many as they can. All, it would appear, in the name of belief in a supernatural being. You couldn’t make it up. Unfortunately, it’s all too real and not about to go away in the near future.

So, it seems, my generation will pass on a much less secure world and one very much less at ease with itself, to those who follow. In my case, so far, my children and grandchildren. It’s not what my younger self ever imagined we’d be doing. Despite my own childhood problems, the times I grew up in were those of optimism, hope and colour. Initially more straight laced, the corsets were about to be discarded; literally as well as metaphorically. A more secular, liberal society was being shaped and it’s one that, despite the economic conservatism, continues to this day. It’s also a movement that, I believe, is unstoppable; provided, of course, that we don’t do anything stupid in the meantime. And there’s the rub.

So, apart from bombing people back to the Stone Age, something that even the mighty US of A failed to do in Vietnam, where do we go from here. Well, I know what my anger tells me that we should do; I also, however, know that that emotion isn’t a rational one on which to base any action that is likely to be successful in the longer term. Air strikes? Well, those in the military who I hear on the radio, say that these must be backed by troops on the ground if they are to have any long term effect. Yet, I don’t hear much support for the latter, even in the bear pit that the House of Commons can be.

So, what do I do? Well, I continue my life as before; sticking to my beliefs despite this deep November of the soul. It doesn’t seem like much but it’s the best answer we have to bigotry, prejudice, hatred and all those other nasty traits that humans can exhibit.  I will also, I hope, leave behind children and grandchildren who themselves believe in the best that humans have to offer and live their lives according. And there lies some hope for a better future.

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