Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve got a head. I think it’s to do with the lack of hair. My head is very visible because of that. There is no hair to hide it. The thing is, though, that it’s not what’s on the head that matters. It’s not even what’s inside it that matters…
Today there were more riots in Athens, with a lot of very angry people getting even angrier, at police who will also get angry.
Tomorrow there will be strikes in the UK as public sector workers protest about changes to their pensions. Many of them are angry. Many people think they are wrong in what they say, and that they are wrong to strike. No doubt, many of them will get angry too.
Whatever the cause, people often get angry for it.
One lazy Sunday afternoon, a father was dozing on the sofa. His wee girl shook him awake, “Daddy, I’m bored!” He looked around for something to do, and noticed that the Sunday newspaper had a photo of a map of the world. He showed her the picture, then tore it into pieces, and told her to put the world back together again. Since she was too young to know where all the countries were, he thought the rest of the afternoon was his to doze in.
A few minutes later she shook him again. “I’m finished, Daddy!”
“You can’t be!”, but when he looked he saw that the world had indeed been put back together. “How did you do that? You didn’t know where all the countries are!”
“Well,” she said, “there was a picture of a person on the other side, and when I got my person back together, the world got back together too.”
We are like that. Too often our lives get ripped to bits. Our person is in pieces, and because our lives are in pieces, our world is too.
In this period of economic downturn there is much tightening of belts going on. There is the fear of losing a job, and the depression that comes from having lost one. People aren’t going out as much, aren’t buying as much. At a time of low interest rates, credit is very hard to get, and mortgages are only available if you have a substantial deposit and a secure salary.
Today in the UK, not having a television is one of the official measures of poverty. When I was very young, it was a mark of affluence – black and white affluence, but still affluence! Our standard of living has increased immensely in a relatively short period. We have more possessions than we ever had, and we throw them away faster than we ever did. Once they are out of fashion, they are out of the door. Once they are old tech, we are looking at the new.
Nearly one in five people currently in the UK will live to see their 100th birthday, according to the government. The Department for Work and Pensions said its figures suggested 10 million people – 17% of the population – would become centenarians. (source – BBC)
There are definitely more older people around now – although the funny thing is that the older I get, the younger the older people seem to be – or is that just me? It is very obvious that we are living longer, and so we should, since medical advances mean that previously fatal conditions are now manageable. So we should perhaps aspire to live to 100 years old. Whether the prediction will be the case when the obesity bomb hits the ground is another matter.