Would you expect peace in Utopia? Would you assume it to be a wholly peaceful place? I think it is better never to assume anything, no matter how well you may have convinced yourself that you know what is best in a particular situation. There is always someone who knows better than you do. I have learnt that lesson in life and I trust its consistency. The trick is to find that person. Does Utopia – or Elysium, Heaven, a harem of 1000 virgins, Paradise, etc – exist for you? Even just in your dreams? Does it mean to you perfect, or does it mean ideal? You need to define these things for yourself before you can set about finding yours. That yours is the same as mine – or the next person’s – is a possibility, but this is doubtful in a world this self sufficient. We each have a private ideal, a personal state of perfection that we (ought) to be striving towards. It depends on how you view perfection as to how your Utopian odyssey will unfold. Your journey is ongoing, you will find yourself there, in time. It just takes time.
The way to peace is to educate. Ask Malala Yousafzai, support her cause with $10 a month if you do not yet do anything for your world. What is $10 worth in your world? Encourage your children to support a worthy cause – let them learn the value of compassion. Teach them that it is important to give something back when you have more than others do and teach them this through your example. It is more and more apparent in these everydays that our children are very capable of understanding the meaning behind an action, a behaviour – i.e. a motivation. Do not take from them this facility. Nourish it, them. Let them learn empathy, through affection. It will get them far in life.
In pursuit of peace (and quiet) it is your responsibility as an adult to demonstrate your true nature in front of children. They see straight through an act and besides, they learn assertion. Let them read your truth because this is how you show a child respect for their time. Their assessment. Letting them know your weaknesses as well as your strengths is not a failure, it is a clued-up move. Apologise when you shout, curse. Explain if you cry. If you curse under your breath, that counts. Saying sorry says hey – it is human to make mistakes. Life is dramatic – there is no getting away from that reality. If you think it is not then you need to open your eyes and notice for once (in a very long while) its colour. Colour brings pain, mind you. Moderate that pain. It is vital for children to realise through your demonstration the real of this world we live in. It is an exercise in strengthening, stretching their emotional intelligence. Please recognise a child’s emotional intelligence when you spot it. The more equipped children are to handle themselves (in any situation that presents itself), the more stable their end life-view is going to be. Children do not think in infinities. They need an end view that is stable – whatever that stability entails. Theirs’ can be surprisingly flexible, their stability – it depends what keeps them happy. Children have extraordinary capacity and they will instinctively stretch themselves. Let them. What is necessary to know is that it is essential that a child develops a life-view that perpetually fires up new synapses with excitement. Children should laugh a lot and they should be shown a great deal in their lives, as well as a good example. If you cannot show them a good example – you will need to trust that your child will role-model on the dominant adult in the vicinity who sets best that example. An example. If you cannot trust that your child will know right from wrong, then you have a problem.
And if you do not know who Malala Yousafzai is, perhaps you should. She deserves a Nobel Peace Prize one day.
Consider that when your energy moves from this incarnation into another one, your journey continues. Your starting point is where you left off. You do not escape your fate. Each time we leave we take with us our learning and when we return to adopt a new embodiment we face upon our paths further trials that will teach us to respect the mistakes we have made during the cycle of our lifetimes. Understand that should you be bound back to earth, or choose to return time and again, each time you come back to take human form you commit to a life of learning. This is no small undertaking. The only way to extract yourself from this natural cycle is to kill yourself, and the flow of life does not look favourably on those who patently refuse to learn. Life is not precious about who it teaches, what. It has plenty to show us, so much to share with us. You need to connect with your life, open to it, in order to receive its gifts. If you are closed, you receive nothing. You receive nothing because you are giving nothing. Life is an energy, a living force, a history in motion. We are the sum of our histories, the picture of our pasts. You are not a snapshot, happening. You are in continuum. It is important to remember that life happens for us, not to us. We should appreciate its show. Also, know that life is not personal and therefore it should not be taken personally. Death is not personal, either. It just is. When your due day is approaching, you may know about it, you may not. You should not know exactly your last moment. That is not for you to know. Think – if you know about it you are taking big risks. You are throwing down a gauntlet. When you take your own life you are stealing breath from Nature’s lungs. Nature does not like thieves. She does not understand how a human being cannot honour living by showing trust – no matter how drastic a depression or challenging one’s circumstance. Hers is the life-force and it does not know how to stop striving to keep us all alive. Should you cut short her transfusion to you, you will suffer the outcome of that severence. That outcome is a lonely place to be. Nature moves on with her business. She does not loiter in the shadows, begging for alms, pleading her case or yours. She takes stock and she moves on towards equilibrium. We should realise that we are all on her path to equilibrium. Each of us. We should sit back and happen, watch ourselves act, trust in her guidance, because it is what will get us to the other side. The other side is where we exist, at perfection. Each of us. That place perfection is real. There are those who have achieved perfection with their lives. Not many, but there are those. Utopia does exist. Living and dying are equally likely to find you a place there. It just depends how you live, and how you die. You must be sure when you die that you have all your ducks in a row. You cannot die with business unfinished. When you take your life you are taking yourself out of the equation and leaving unfinished business. Nature does not like unfinished business. She will insist that you return to pick up your own mess. No one is in charge of your life, but you. Nature was in charge of your birth. She is in charge of your death. Trust that she knows best your moment to go. Take that privilege from her and you will find yourself lost on the other side without a ready guide. That is Nature’s way. Should you wish to take her on, you will see that she will simply transform you. She transforms herself, all the time. To transform us is her job. She doesn’t take lightly to having her job dictated by humans. She will collect you when she is ready, not before.
The road to Utopia is not an easy road. You need smarts, wits, tenacity and a very good vehicle. It would be good if you could read from the stars, the sun. It would be advantageous if you had your own vision of perfection and were keen to strive towards it. You are advised to wear a seatbelt and to expect the unexpected. If you are not good at expecting the unexpected, then practice. Give yourself surprises until you get used to embracing the unknown. Do something new. It’s the only way forward. In this age of über-speed we need to know how to move smoothly with the chaos of an everyday. Do you realise how much information you are processing every minute? What are you absorbing, what are you hearing and adhering to? What you need to realise is that each moment of each day you are moulding your future with the choices you make based on what you respond to. That is how much control you have over your destiny. It is all in your hands. Unfortunately, a lot of people are dropping the ball.
The road to Utopia is worth finding. It’s worth travelling. More importantly, it’s there. That Yellow Brick Road that Elton John said goodbye to, is there. That is something to inspire hope in all but the totally hopeless. And worringly, there are those. A great many of those. We find people of every sort on our path to perfection and I can attest to the fact that it is in your acceptance of each kind of person you come across that you will find your own freedom. We all have something in common. Ourselves. Who cares what colour your skin is, really. Do you think a black family feels any different to a white family when their child is stolen from them? Their sense of loss will be the same. Will the 40 000+ children the LRA has stolen be forgotten by any single one of those parents? They will not. Is £30 million raised each time a black child is kidnapped and turned into a child-soldier? No. They are left to their own devices, those bereft families. When will the people realise that the theft of those children’s souls feeds the evil of Joseph Kony’s regime? I have to wonder how one black man can ‘disappear’ like he does. Do not tell me that nobody on this planet knows where Joseph Kony is hiding. Somebody knows. They must just be motivated to say so. What would motivate a man who has already sold his own soul? Think about it. Does an Indian man’s heart break any differently to that of a Welshman? I don’t believe so. I believe we are all subconsciously striving to be our best – whatever that best is. Even the cartel works to its best – with a kind of precision that is almost as flawless as the German language. When we start to understand the rituals and behaviours of our fellow men (incidentally, I am not a feminist) we will be more likely to succeed at making this planet less of a contemporary nightmare for millions of people. And that should be our collective goal. Any human being with one iota of conscience would want a more equal world for a lot of people. Freedom is everyone’s dream, I feel. Can you imagine how precious that ideal must be to someone who has never experienced freedom? And sadly, there are those. Our world needs to right a few wrongs, accept a few anomalies, make its peace with the past and get progressive.
Have a conscience. Feel how it is to be someone with internet, someone with a hot bath, someone with food in your fridge. You don’t have to suffer for your privileges, just realise them. I find it hard showering and thinking of all the starving mouths of thirsty Somalian babies. I can afford to let pure clean water run while I brush my teeth because the country I live in has a surplus. Also, I can afford to pay for that which I waste. It’s crazy. It’s also frustrating. How many countries have surplus crops that could be sent to where they are needed if there was no bureaucracy or corrupted politics getting in the way? How much money given to charities goes to the cause you think you are supporting?
Living in this world of contrasts takes a lot of thinking. Or it should. Living right means seeing beyond your comfort zone to a place where you are facing yourself in a new frame. Who is it that you are? What do you care about? What do you need? What do you want? Ask yourself. The answers are always interesting.