What can be considered a fair life-expectancy? Or should we not have expectations when it comes to our deaths? There are those for whom life without expectations is as pointless as death is without its permanence. There are those for whom it isn’t.
Keep yourself the way you need to be kept and you will live for a long time. Deny yourself your necessary and you will die what is commonly called ‘before your time’. Living, laughing and loving are excellent for longevity. Practice them. They are free. If you cannot find anything to laugh about, anything to love, or any reason to live, you need to think again. It’s that simple.
There are a lot of people who are hoping to live forever. They must have a reason for that. There are a lot of medicines that keep dead people walking and perhaps that is called progress in some countries. It would appear that the many children walking the planet today would appreciate a planet to walk on. Their longevity is dependent on the planet we give them to appreciate.
Caring is a particularly beautiful human trait. It is a way of being, a mode of conduct. Those who care in this world will find that their days are made great by virtue of their efforts. The days of others are made special because of their efforts, too, and that is important. It is your job as a human being to make a difference to the lives of other sentient beings – you cannot escape that reality.
Failing to care brings with it grave consequence. That of meaninglessness. When you do not care, nothing has meaning, and when nothing in your life has meaning your existence is pointless. Yes – the meaning of life is a vital component in each of our everydays and it makes sense to care about what your life means – to yourself, and to others. You are alive – you are meant to live and you are meant to give that living, meaning.
Care builds powerhouses out of communities. When people care, they pull together. Unity is the cornerstone of progress and since progress – global progress, i.e. a world made better for everyone – is where Earth is headed, care and unity really should be at the top of everyone’s agenda. Those who refuse to care for the well-being of this planet and its inhabitants, its Natural legacy, will find their heads empty and their hearts heavy with dread when the time comes for them to leave this Earth. You do not want to be leaving this Earth with an empty head and a feeling of dread. My suggestion – please give a shit. It might just save what’s left of your lives.
‘Words have an intrinsic power. When they are true, sensible, and sincere, they heal “the hearts that mourn.” They help to settle disputes between husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters. They help to establish and realize initiatives by the community and relieve suffering. Words are sacred.’
– Aminata Traoré
There is a community in the Kwahu mountains of eastern Ghana that is wanting to stand on its own two feet. It needs to find a way to get its youth into work, there are too many unemployed. There are too many single teenage mothers, too many women who have too little. The women are desperate. They will accept a proposal of sex for something to wear, something to eat, or somewhere to sleep the night. Can you imagine being in that position? Your body becomes your trade. Where is your self-esteem when you must trade with your flesh? The problem is that these women are not having protected sex and the result is often a child, or an infection of some kind. The men understand the power they have and they use it, women are dispensable, a convenience. The community is watching itself come undone. The chiefs are looking for a solution, they consult with their people and they look for a way forward. They are strong in their commitment to a better future. My concern is how does a community keep its spirits up when the world rushes by on its busy business of being without even being aware of real-time problems of hopeful people who want change?
Community holds people together. It holds hearts, and heads, together. Perhaps the dissolution of community in places is more serious than the world realises. Africa is founded on community spirit. It is a web, a network whose reach you should never underestimate. You will not find a continent better-equipped to work together – if it can heal the damage done to its soul by the scramble for Africa. Someone, somewhere, needs to say sorry. I think to start with, an apology would make Africa a lot happier. Then she will be able to view herself as whole again and the work can begin. Whilst she is divided – as she currently is – there are two many skirmishes, too much in-fighting. What is she still doing warring with herself? Watching her unfold is like watching a slow-motion movie. The point that should be made is that the longer the community must farm out its resources in trying to keep itself together, the longer it takes for it to make progress. Slow progress is still progress, but perhaps for a change the community must address its defectors and recall all of its wanderers. It is time for a bigger picture and in order to realise that bigger picture, we need unity.
There is a residual racism alive and well in the world. This is not productive. Racism is a dead-end road to nowhere. When you are tempted to judge a person because they are not the same colour as you, know that you are prejudiced. Prejudice is not an attractive quality. You cannot know how it is to be a person of colour if you are not coloured. Theirs’ has been an uphill battle all along, it has to be said. They must be getting tired of defining themselves again and again, defending their right to exist in a world fearful of their difference. Considering people of colour are by far the majority in this world, those that are not of colour should understand their place in the scheme of things. They have an opinion – that is all. We all have an opinion that we are free to exercise. It is important to understand that we should not use our opinions to condemn the lives of other people. How dare you wish harm to another human being? That is not your place. It is not your job to effect doom on another’s days. If you have ideas of hurting other people, tidy up your head.
It is necessary to judge a person’s nature before you decide to interact with them. You cannot do that in one minute. How a person treats you over time tells you a lot about their character, a lot about yours. If you are open to your world, you will know with whom you are best connected. You will know, too, who you do not want near you. You will feel it. Children are particularly adept at sensing good, bad. Trust their judgement. Children will start profiling themselves racially at 5 years of age. It is important, therefore, that before the age of 5 a child is exposed to other children of every colour. When a child understands that it is one of a number of others – and through that understanding learns that ‘otherness’ is okay – then we have a situation where tolerance is being fostered. You simply have to tolerate other people – we all share this space. Practicing tolerance is good practice.
Racism makes this world weary. It’s an energy-thief. Its basis is fear, its power, hatred. It is time to nullify the hatred. Men need to be men now. They need to take control of their dark sides, which means harnessing their primal drives. This darker energy needs containing – there are too many men visiting their darker sides upon the planet and turning our reality into a freak show. A dark side is dark, it is not meant for the light. It takes a strong man to turn and face the shadows. Turning is always a slow process, but it is possible to do a full 360° if you exercise enough patience. 360° is where you want to be. We need to turn and face the tsunami of hatred that is building, daily, for individuals, groups, a system that is failing its people. By and large, the world of politics is a mess and it is failing at its own job. Money is a bigger mess than politics. Politics is about puppets in the today-world. Puppets are bought and sold every day. How effective any prime minister, any president, at exacting real change from the masses? I suppose it depends how they ask for that change to come about. Since most of them are lying about the truth in one way or another we find it increasingly difficult to find the energy to listen to any of their stories. In this day and age it is ridiculous that every country is not run on a democratic basis. And I have to ask – what are the Republicans doing for this planet, apart from marginalising people? They need to open their minds and get with the programme called Progress.