Hand Wringing

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
My reaction to what's going on in this world just now.

Submitted: August 23, 2016

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Submitted: August 23, 2016



There is nothing wrong with being parochial and it is fair to say that I am quite proud of our little nation and what it can do on the world stage but it is also fair to say that we have our share of numbnuts! The numbnuts of this world cause a deal of hand wringing because it is a challenge to know what to do with them because any form of detention is costly to the honest taxpayer and anyway due to political correctness, being harsh seems to be a no-no these days.

Still being parochial, I enjoy our local newspaper! They regularly feature works by young people who are a sort of counter balance to the numbnuts we hear so much about! Millie writes on Thursdays from an English language graduate, music performer, feminist and intelligent point of view. She has highlighted the misogyny among young men, and how the rugby crowd are intimidating for young women on the streets, even in daylight. Yep there are numbnuts out there! She receives a good deal of flak from what she has to say but I have never seen anything untrue in her writing and fair enough, she writes from her own personal perspective.

Every second week, the paper prints essays written by secondary school pupils from throughout the region. The in-between weeks, secondary school sport is highlighted. These young essayists are probably given a subject to write about which may be historical, topical, personal experience or whatever, but they research well and write well. I find their essays entertaining and informative, and those kids have some brilliant ideas!

There is no inference here that numbnuts are only among the youth, and if you look at any television news bulletin you fall into the trap of thinking there are far too few level-headed people taking up space on this globe we call home! Hand wringing seems to be the response to too much that is afflicting our planet.

I had a mate who was a politician and his advice to me was to ‘never trust a politician’, and another mate reckoned that politics is a ‘dirty game’, but nevertheless he became a village chairman and immersed himself in the game! In most so-called democracies, leaders, politicians are elected to office but a major constraint to good governance is so many who are entitled to vote are too apathetic to cast a vote! If you do wish to stand for office, you need plenty of financial backing and to be ‘in’ with those who matter. All that pretty much precludes most of bright up-and-comers, because they will rock the boat! And there are plenty of bright up-and-comers! Again our local newspaper sponsors Class Act students each year, profiling the best of the year’s senior students. Future leaders, so to speak, but my bet is they won’t be political leaders because they are too bright for that! But shouldn’t our political leaders be the brightest of the bunch?

It’s head-scratching stuff when you look and the bright up-and-comers and compare them with the numbnuts and yolo bingers. But it’s not the young who and making mess that they will have to live with! Who for example is to blame for world pollution, and who is responsible for the Syrian thing – it is a thing because there is no other adequate single word to describe it – and who is responsible for those terrorist or militant groups, who don’t deserve a name either, but are causing havoc in hotspots and where innocent people want to get on with their lives?

We all know that politics pervades almost every activity where people join to form groups. Some of it is pretty innocuous but there are always those who want to rule the roost and don’t particularly care who they stomp on to get there. And of course power is euphoric, so if you are like Mugabe, you just want to hold on to power, actually you happen to be like Mugabe or Gadhafi, you have to hold on to power because if you don’t, you are dead! Where wealth becomes involved the networks can be much more subtle but they are always lurking when electing boards, councils, bishops, governments, presidents or even UN secretaries general.

There is much lip-service given to the desirability of racial equality and gender equality and at least our government has set up taxpayer funded agencies to address these shortcomings, but much of it is hot air and unreal. Platitudes. Because when (something like) ten percent of the world population owns (something like) ninety percent of the world’s wealth, equality is just a mythical beast! And isn’t funny how banks can create money out of a computer? At one time you had to work for it or dig gold out of the ground! When money was in short supply and if you had some stored away in a bank, it used to realise twenty percent interest! Nowadays if you are lucky, you might realise three! So what do the money-hungry do with their store of money? Yep they put it into property, causing prices to inflate, out of the reach of the young? I wonder why the young are frustrated! Governments wring their hands, but those elected members all own investment properties. Governments seem to rest their credibility on growth, but sustainability and maintenance of lifestyle might be better goals – and less administration and red tape would be good.

The biggest hand wringing conundrum of all is the stuff going on in the Middle East, especially Syria, but anywhere there bombs are bombing, guns are shooting or machetes are chopping! There are powerful governments, some on either side of the fence where egos get in the way and there is the all-powerful world body, the United Nations, all of them purporting to be experts at diplomacy but in reality wringing their hands over the carnage – or maybe rubbing their hands? Meantime armament companies and their investors are making a fortune in sales! It is simply an outrage!  

It is bad enough seeing towns and cities wrecked and historical sites being destroyed, but the human tragedies are epic! All because of a government and an uprising complicated, it seems, by Islam or more correctly Islamic extremists-cum-militants and further complicated with antagonism towards the Kurds and their militant reaction! I don’t know enough about Islam to know what the protagonists are thinking or why they are doing what they are doing, but if you look at history and all those past atrocities, war and killing changes many people into veritable monsters who are capable of committing even worse atrocities! Life and humanity loses its value. What is going on, certainly has little to do with sanity! Should my country, people and home be smashed to smithereens by some ideology, there is no way I would ever adhere to that ideology, surely. The adage: ‘every action causes a reaction’ is true. Anger reacting to anger isn’t working!

The current old fart leadership just isn’t solving the major problems, especially when there are leaders with the ethic that fighters should ‘fight to the death’! Simple logic and history disprove the credibility of that! It is time to stop all the killing, lay down arms, mothball the military aircraft and begin rebuilding in harmony by showing respect, even just to see the other person’s point of view.

The Millies of this world and those student essayists could enlighten us all and perhaps even organise peace if only the protagonists would listen! Hand wringing certainly isn’t doing it!



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