Monday, 10 October 2011

Travelling Hopefully

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Every generation faces its fair share of uncertainties and these are uncertain times for us all, especially as children of the ‘40s, not yet too old but no longer young.  Although we’re a little late for such things, the new uncertainties might have had some maturing influence on us.
The idea of the reward being in the journey didn’t appeal to us much in the past but we were younger then and the future seemed longer and more promising.  Probably this state comes to us all as we get older.  It feels like wisdom to want to make the best of the present rather than to struggle now for an ideal state of arrival at some unspecified time.  Arrival become inevitable and secondary to making the best of the travelling time between now and who-knows-what. 
Apart from the march of time, the catalyst driving our change of attitude was the abandonment of our plans to use the equity from the sale of our last house to build an ideal eco house in a village near to here.  It was always a folie de grandeur but, before we had altogether taken that on board, the project was spiked by a combination of the ultimate litigious neighbour and an architect so determined to build ‘his own house’ despite our intentions and pleas, and so uncommunicative that we ended up applying for permission to build something that we never wanted in the first place in the hope of changing everything later.  What can one say by way of excuse?
Now with all that behind us, we have a little cash in the bank, a lot more time to ourselves and the opportunity to make more of the ‘journey’.  The uncertainty of course persists and multiplies.  Perhaps we’ve done the wrong thing again but at the moment we are finding it harder to be stressed about the risks than we would have been in the past.  A rash of ‘we told you so’ stories from worshippers of other tokens such as the pound and the dollar, the jeremiahs who hoped for the failure of the Euro and who are now indulging in an excess of schadenfreud about something that hasn’t happened but that they hope my become a self-fulfilling prophecy if they continue to magnify it, should worry us about that money in the bank.  But then, what can we do about it anyway but enjoy the ‘journey’ and continue in our belief that the Euro has been one of the most successful and humane of economic experiments.  Even greater than the Marshall Plan.
Prophecy is redundant especially without access to the levers of power.  The world is becoming a better place despite a rearguard action by self-interested conservative lobbies such as business, government, unions, public servants and religions who prefer their own hegemony to human progress.  Slowly this bizarre alliance is being undermined by, above all, education, freedom of speech and the ease of communication.  We find it odd that the British government is attempting to take away our copyright in our work in the spurious interests of the freer dissemination of knowledge and culture in order to give these rights to huge pressure groups dedicated to the opposing cause who may, briefly, be the only beneficiaries.
Now, as tenants of a nice house, we have flexibility and more chance of directing our own lives and can take the often quoted advice of Steve Jobs not to live someone else’s life.  Maybe wisdom has come to us late but not too late.
Of course it was ever so;  it just takes a long time to recognise the inevitable.  Our blog was not intended to be controversial, political and opinionated and will revert to our original plan.
Much to be hopeful about

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