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Thought for the Day

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 12:31pm
13 replies615 views5 members subscribed
Tony D

Posts: 5

7 helpful points

Location: Carboneras

Joined: 16 Nov 2019

Hi everyone.

New to posting.. and wanted to thank Alex particularly.. and Mathew and Dario and Jenni and all ... for entertainment during these awesome times. The frequent heated discussions prompted me to send the following Thought for the Day .. John Bell from Iona Community has kindly given me permission to post it to you. Hope you have the patience to read it all !

"I have always been attracted to prophetic figures.. whether they be ancient like Isaiah or contemporary like Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela.

If you look at the content of what they had to say, you can discern three strands :   they analyse the present predicament.. they offer empathy and solace to the despairing.. they re-imagine the future.

At the moment we have quite a lot of analysis. Indeed we may be suffering from analysis paralysis. And there has been good support and encouragement for many from people close to us and from programmes on the media.

But what about re-imagining the future ? There's a growing clamour to be told when the lockdown is going to be eased. But what will the post-lockdown future hold ? Or what should it hold ? No politician ever imagined they would have to deal with a post-pandemic world. Much in their past manifestos is now redundant.. so what next ?

Some people just want to get back to normal. I desperately hope that we don't. That would mean essential workers, particularly in private care homes, returning to underpaid oblivion. It would mean business, transport and industry re-contributing to high levels of pollution. It would mean a return to underfunded health and social services, with experts only listened to in times of crisis, rather than to prevent crises. It would mean a devaluing of the importance of the arts and of open spaces as essential for public well-being.

There's a moment in the history of the Jewish exodus when, wearied by travelling and uncertain of what was to come, the recently liberated slaves complain to God that they want to go back to Egypt. It was a case of mental myopia ; they forgot that the past was not at all pleasant. So God declined their request and instead let them wander about aimlessly for forty years until they were open to embrace a very different future.

Maybe some of the things we are experiencing at the moment hold clues to the new normal we might aspire to .. time to talk at length rather than in soundbites, the enjoyment of showing consideration for others, neighbourhoods taking initiatives, ecology as a partner rather than the servant of economics, and an awareness of how, unless we help the poor of the world to get through this time, the virus might return to us with a vengeance. Such things are not for political manifestos to determine ... but for us ALL to discuss and discover."

Perhaps this should have been posted under Boris or Brexit discussion topics ? Please take care and stay safe.. and be grateful you are still alive. From Tony in Snowdonia. 

Matthew

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:31pm

Matthew

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Posts: 1106

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Joined: 16 May 2018

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:31pm

Lovely post, Tony and I think you are up there with us, the intelligent posters on this forum. But, ecology to win over commercialism, that's where you kind of jumped two steps back after taking a step forward. The Customer is king and it's the customer that keeps us all in jobs and how does the customer do that? - Through money, of course. 

But, keep posting I need some distraction from the guy who recently moved into the holiday home nearby. He drove from the UK. Our roads are dangerous enough at the moment with ice. But, like all true Saxon sons could not not-wash his car this Sunday morning and the downward wash has made a dangerous road even more dangerous and will be for days to come. 

Is this guy (my new neighbour) the new normal we can expect?

Or is it too improper to ask that he doesn't wash his damned BMW in icy conditions?

I need patience - must start reading St-Augustine.

Adrian48

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:49am

Posts: 2

7 helpful points

Location: Mojacar

Joined: 20 Mar 2020

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:49am

Matthew wrote on Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:31pm:

Lovely post, Tony and I think you are up there with us, the intelligent posters on this forum. But, ecology to win over commercialism, that's where you kind of jumped two steps back after taking a step forward. The Customer is king and it's the customer that keeps us all in jobs and how does the ...

...customer do that? - Through money, of course. 

But, keep posting I need some distraction from the guy who recently moved into the holiday home nearby. He drove from the UK. Our roads are dangerous enough at the moment with ice. But, like all true Saxon sons could not not-wash his car this Sunday morning and the downward wash has made a dangerous road even more dangerous and will be for days to come. 

Is this guy (my new neighbour) the new normal we can expect?

Or is it too improper to ask that he doesn't wash his damned BMW in icy conditions?

I need patience - must start reading St-Augustine.

Intelligent?

DarioMartin

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:53am

DarioMartin

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Location: Vera

Joined: 16 Aug 2017

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:53am

Morning Tony - loved the post;

Re-imagining the future ... that’s a very interesting point, but so incredibly subjective because 10 different people will give 10 different answers of their re-imagined future.  You’d have to set guidelines and parameters within which to re-imagine to come up with anything close to consensus and even then it would be challenging.

Even analysis can be challenging because following analysis is interpretation of the results and you will get as wide a variance there as you will with re-imagining the future; 

My re-imagined future though is one with a LOT more trees, much more preservation of our natural heritage. Definitely more bees. And birds..... and, sadly, a few less humans for I feel our greed and demand for resources and “more” is to the detriment of this planet upon which we dwell.

Tony D

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:47pm

Tony D

Original Poster

Posts: 5

7 helpful points

Location: Carboneras

Joined: 16 Nov 2019

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:47pm

Thanks, Dario, for your thoughtful and intelligent reply. Intelligent for Adrian48 !!! Thanks too, to Matthew.

Another Thought. This time from David Prowse, a Plymouth poet..

Adapted from OLD HARRY.

"Where old Harry's friesians once strolled in the sun,    Where field-mice would scamper and rabbits would run,

There are only our memories to linger upon.    For the days of old Harry are over and gone.

       They didn't want Harry or those of his ilk,    So established a pittance in pricing his milk.

       What they wanted was land for a crop more sedate,    Now it's numbered in boxes they call an estate.

And the story of old Harry is all too routine,    Where cattle once flourished and meadows were green.

Take a look where the old ones harvested hay,    And little by little, it's turning to grey.

       Take a look at the fields on the outskirts of town,    With their grassland devoured and their hedges pulled down.

       New structures arise as though grown over-night,    And there's hardly a semblance of livestock in sight.

There's a tide pushing outwards, ignoring complaints,    Of green-belt restrictions and planning constraints.

The edicts are issued, the doom-drummer beats,    And the pastures of Britain are turned into streets.

       They deter us from driving, yet still they insist,    On planting new houses where jobs don't exist.

       So the by-roads get busy and then they built more,    And we go round in circles the same as before.

Myopic in vision, the problems they face,    Are solved drawing townships wherever there's space.

Be it floodplain or fenland or miles from the tap,    It all looks the same on a Westminster map.

       I've seen many changes in eighty odd years,   Some were causes for triumph, and some for our tears.

       How the countryside bleeds and I wonder, perhaps,    Not all the vandals wear hoodies and caps.

There are thousands like Harry all over this land,    Undone by misfortune or policies planned.

And all you can see when the deed has been done,    Is concrete where cattle once strolled in the sun." 

Take care and stay safe.  From Tony D  a blitz boy from Plymouth now in Snowdonia but thinking of sunnier places.

Maggiep

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:16pm

Maggiep

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Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:16pm

Tony D wrote on Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:47pm:

Thanks, Dario, for your thoughtful and intelligent reply. Intelligent for Adrian48 !!! Thanks too, to Matthew.

Another Thought. This time from David Prowse, a Plymouth poet..

Adapted from OLD HARRY.

"Where old Harry's friesians once strolled in the sun,    Where field-mice would scamper and rabbits would run,

There are only our memories to linger upon.    For the days of old Harry are over and gone.

       They didn't want Harry or those of his ilk,    So established a pittance in pricing his milk.

       What they wanted was land for a crop more sedate,    Now it's numbered in boxes they call an estate.

And the story of old Harry is all too routine,    Where cattle once flourished and meadows were green.

Take a look where the old ones harvested hay,    And little by little, it's turning to grey.

       Take a look at the fields on the outskirts of town,    With their grassland devoured and their hedges pulled down.

       New structures arise as though grown over-night,    And there's hardly a semblance of livestock in sight.

There's a tide pushing outwards, ignoring complaints,    Of green-belt restrictions and planning constraints.

The edicts are issued, the doom-drummer beats,    And the pastures of Britain are turned into streets.

       They deter us from driving, yet still they insist,    On planting new houses where jobs don't exist.

       So the by-roads get busy and then they built more,    And we go round in circles the same as before.

Myopic in vision, the problems they face,    Are solved drawing townships wherever there's space.

Be it floodplain or fenland or miles from the tap,    It all looks the same on a Westminster map.

       I've seen many changes in eighty odd years,   Some were causes for triumph, and some for our tears.

       How the countryside bleeds and I wonder, perhaps,    Not all the vandals wear hoodies and caps.

There are thousands like Harry all over this land,    Undone by misfortune or policies planned.

And all you can see when the deed has been done,    Is concrete where cattle once strolled in the sun." 

Take care and stay safe.  From Tony D  a blitz boy from Plymouth now in Snowdonia but thinking of sunnier places.

I loved this, although  it brought a tear or two. Very moving. Thankyou for sharing x

Matthew

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:09pm

Matthew

Super helpful member

Posts: 1106

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Location: Mojacar

Joined: 16 May 2018

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 4:09pm

I hope its OK to post the following poem here. It's one of my favourites:-

On Passing the New Menin Gate (by Siegfried Sassoon)

Who will remember, passing through this Gate,
the unheroic dead who fed the guns?
Who shall absolve the foulness of their fate,-
Those doomed, conscripted, unvictorious ones?

Crudely renewed, the Salient holds its own.
Paid are its dim defenders by this pomp;
Paid, with a pile of peace-complacent stone,
The armies who endured that sullen swamp.

Here was the world's worst wound. And here with pride
'Their name liveth for ever', the Gateway claims.
Was ever an immolation so belied
as these intolerably nameless names?
Well might the Dead who struggled in the slime
Rise and deride this sepulchre of crime.


Mikel

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:24pm

Posts: 13

1 helpful points

Location: Roquetas de Mar

Joined: 16 Sep 2020

Posted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:24pm

An alternative would be, don't follow messianic figures! One Jim Jones is enough! I'm Jewish and we've had a few contenders. The Bible is full of prophet maniacs. As are other religious books, not wanting to get into any controversy! 

Tony D

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:45pm

Tony D

Original Poster

Posts: 5

7 helpful points

Location: Carboneras

Joined: 16 Nov 2019

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:45pm

Another thought for the Day.

Matthew thank you for your contribution.. hope the grim poem does not reflect your true soul. And sorry Mikkel.. don't get the relevance of your comment. And the following is for you.. Maggiep.

The Ploughman by David Prowse.

"Slow was the Ploughman with reins in his hands,     In his gaitered and cumbersome way,

     As he trudged and he trampled from dawn until dusk,     To plough but an acre a day.

A brace of white horses, a sullen grey sky,     The straining of hooves to the climb,

     A progress unmeasured by the ticking of clocks,     But at one single furrow a time.

A life with small pleasures as routine reward,     Just a few simple comforts, at best,

     A meal and a fireside, the warmth of a wife,     And the moonlight oasis of rest.

But this was the way of his breeding and blood,     The only vocation he knew,

     From the time he could reach to a bridle and bit,     He'd known what he wanted to do.

These many years later, we glance at the past,     With pity for yesterday's serf,

     Bit I doubt he deserves it or likely would care,     For the standards applied to our worth.

He was poor in comparison, that much is true,     But we each live our lives in the mind,

     Perhaps we should ask if we feel more fulfilled,     By the changes which progress designed.

He had neighbours he trusted, and door without locks,     He had children as free as the air,

     Their spoiling small-measured in meagre delights,     When he had a few pennies to spare.

And they basked in the innocent shelter of youth,     Through a childhood that lasted for years,

      While the old slept the sleep of the weary and wise,     And harboured no terror of tears.

We compare our possessions but rarely our thoughts,     In deciding what's better or worse,

     On the outside, we've prospered but isn't it strange ?      On the inside, we've done the reverse.

In our haste to climb higher, we've lightenened the load,     By casting the old ways aside,

     But hidden among them were jewels and gems,     Like morality, conscience and pride.

Don't pity the ploughman, his labours were hard,     But his world offered more than its pay,

      An awareness of heaven and feeling for earth,     And all for an acre a day."

Keep smiling and take care and stay safe. From Tony D who had his Covid19 jab last Saturday !!!

     

Jenni

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:40pm

Jenni

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Posts: 645

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Location: Oria

Joined: 14 Dec 2017

Posted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 2:40pm

Hi Tony from Snowdonia, I bet your cold up there!!!! thank you for your thanks and for posting the very interesting post. Unfortunately people do not like change they are frightened of it, so I would guess that if there was a vote the majority of the population would vote for things to 'go back to normal'.

God forbid, that it does, why the vastly rich, are sending rockets into space, when they could spend their wealth feed the thousands of people that are starving, people without even the basic's like water. This is madness to me, we need to start looking after the planet, we have done a great job in destroying in, and now we are paying the price. We need not only to respect the planet but also each other.  To go back to 'Normal' would mean, racism, not respecting animals, abuse, wars, greed, I hope we learn from this virus and when we have got it under some sort control we start anew.

 I enjoyed every ones poems, I would like to add my favourite poem.  

I must go down to the sea again

To the lonely Sea and Sky

I left my socks and pants there

I wonder if they're dry.  (the late Spike Milligan) who always managed to see the funny side.

Stay safe all.   Jenni

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