Trying Times

If you think that we live in trying times, you are probably be right. Indeed, they are times that challenge even my fabled optimism. And, yes, there are things about these times that are especially worrying; not least climate change, religiously inspired terrorism, nuclear weapons and a much harsher world for the next generation. Yet you have only to look at our history to see that, for most of us, life hasn’t always been easy.

After all, the generation that preceded mine fought the Second World War just a few years after their parents fought the first one. Can you imagine what they felt when they woke up, in September 1939, to discover that they had to do it all over again? Nor that it would last six years and that, according to some historians, what they were actually about to embark on was unfinished business from the last one. Going even further back, the 14th century was dubbed “the worst century ever”, with climate change, a reduction in crop yields and an environmental and social crisis which enormously increased the gap between rich and poor. Then along came the Black Death which led to a near 50% reduction in the population of the country. In short, half died, drastically changing the continent.

So, yes, we do live in trying and extremely worrying times and there are no easy answers. However, you can do something. For a start (and I’m aware that, in this, I’m preaching to the converted) but don’t read the Daily Mail and The Sun; by definition, they aren’t “news” papers. On a more practical note, try not to let it get to you. I know it’s difficult but going about your day to day business with some humour can help both you and those around you. If you should doubt the validity of this, I can only suggest that you look at my history. As I, occasionally, have to remind myself, many years ago, I was an unemployed single parent on benefits. Yes, it got me down and there were time when I was extremely worried about money. What I tried not to do, however, was not to let it stop me. So don’t let these trying times stop you.

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