A pile of problems

We think that good intentions can transform even the most foolish or most impractical acts into the most amazing and good. Well, yes, of course we say: may they be rewarded for their good intentions.

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Stop

I have no idea why you were unjustly stopped and questioned, but I am sure it has absolutely nothing to do with that press conference you called for the international media, in which you described the alleged lead-executioner of the latest bogeymen of the West as (formerly) a really lovely chap.

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Grains of sand

Daft as it may seem, it has taken me four decades to realise that there are over seven billion people on earth, and most people we come into contact with in our lives we will never encounter ever again. If you’re lucky enough to live in a little village, then you may be surrounded by friends for life. But for the rest of us? There is our family and the smattering of others we occasionally entertain. In some ways, the Internet has made our world smaller; some have that reach to be known to all. But the rest of us: we’re just grains of sand, blown by the wind.

Contentment

Don’t be blind to what is obvious: to what is right in front of you. There you will find your blessings. Not out there, amongst the unknown and hidden. Your sustenance has been decreed for you. Your true companions too. All others are just passersby, soon to be forgotten. Do not seek to be known. Be content with those that know you. Your world is standing right before you, waiting for you to take notice. Be content and grateful for what you have.

Between us

It’s funny. I didn’t feel so all alone until I walked out amongst the people.

Until then, when I was truly alone, I was doing fine.

But now these heavy blues. I wish I had been content with my solitude.

Just me and my Lord.

Forgotten

I have spent so much of my life stuck in particular “rooms” of time, always wishing I could freeze-frame them and remain in that moment. However, I always arrive late, after everyone else has vacated them, finding myself alone inside. I don’t know how this happens. Always left behind, as the moment moves on for everyone else. Forever forgotten, left behind.

Levelling up

Who ever would have known that decades of xenophobic and racist stories in national newspapers targeting ‘foreign’ workers, followed by an actual political movement to physically close the doors on said ‘foreigners’ would result in a recruitment crisis of epic proportions, right across health, social care, social services, logistics and agriculture?

We only have ourselves to blame. We reap what we sow. Or in this case, we don’t reap what we sow… we just leave it to rot in the fields, because there’s no one left willing to do that hard graft to harvest our crops.

Religious bullies

Deal with the religious bullies that deploy ancient texts to browbeat the young and vulnerable into actions they would shun if they were older or more mature.

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Vox Pop

If you’re going to interview someone like that, leave it to a journalist, not the TV equivalent of a newspaper columnist. Give us facts. Give us analysis. Give us probing research, investigative journalism. Not verbal diarrhoea and a tabloid opinion piece. Comment is free, but facts are sacred. What a wasted opportunity.

Of mice and men

Mark Zuckerberg conducted an experiment, where they gathered all the idiots in a web app and studied how long it would take for them to start explaining human psychology on the basis of rodent behaviour observed in a flawed 1960s research paper.

Crimes against humanity

The destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York twenty years ago was a crime against humanity. An act of unimaginable and unforgivable barbarity. The events of that day will forever remain etched in the psyche of a generation.

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Here on the periphery

O self, what are you wittering on about now? You have always been destined for a life on the periphery, so why start grumbling now? I thought you had reconciled yourself to your station.

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Daylight robbery

We managed to book a four-day holiday by the sea. It cost us an absolute fortune. The hotel was as basic as it gets. The beds in our family room were comfortable, but the bathroom was a disgrace. Our four night stay cost us the equivalent of a month’s rent for a furnished house. We got breakfast with the room, but no evening meals were available. They blamed Brexit.

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Chip on your shoulder

He was never the sharpest knife in the drawer. On Facebook, YouTube and Twitter — his every thought stamped with a date, time, GPS location, wifi location, IP address and his every interaction, stored in a giant database accessed by no one but big data mining analysts and the intelligence community — he posts about a malevolent global elite embedding microchips in the shoulders of 7 billion people, to track the movements and thoughts of all mankind. Don’t ask me.

Dust

Proofs take years, if not millennia, to discern. Why did the redeeming saviour of mankind came so late in the history of our species? The last 2000 years in which he has supposedly reigned king is a mere 1% of human history. I was an atheist too, then an agnostic, then a theist, following a similar trajectory to you. However, I believe in a God who created our universe over 14 billion years ago, so vast and sublime as to render most of our ponderings and self-belief utterly futile. Believers should humble themselves, recognising that we are nothing. Nothing at all in the big scheme of things. Just dust.