Well….on holiday, actually, and (by choice) well way from the internet, English language TV and pretty much anything that might tie me to my usual existence.
The thing is, this has been the only two weeks of the year when I was not surrounded by idiots engaged in a project which is, finally, anti-human (or at the very least the opposite of what a humane endeavour should be). And I made the most of it. Lying about in a shady spot in a sunny place, eating, drinking, sleeping….. day-dreaming…. thinking… and other intensive stuff.
You know, it’s sad when you realise that for the sake of the planet and most of humanity it might be best if the Isle of Man did not exist. Which is a harsh truth.
Before I was forced into finance sector work I was not driven to “do good” outside of work. I just lacked the guilt most liberals get about deciding to “get on in life” while quietly knowing you are stepping on others to do it. Mostly because I chose to live simply when I could rather than step on those others. I might not be achieving much in terms of changing or improving the world, but I did no harm either.
But these days I have little choice, because others depend on me, and I feel very beat up about the effects of that. Yes, I provide for my family, and am no burden on civic society or public parasite, but at what greater expense?
So, for me or anyone else in my situation, rather than continue to beat yourself up about it, the question is: “What are you going to do about it?”
And in answering that I’m drawn back, yet again, to Mark Boyle, an astute artist back in the 1970’s who explained his quite unique work thus: “The greatest change you can make to your environment, short of destroying it, is to change your attitude to it.”
Actually, Mark spent the best part of half a century subtly altering everyday situations so that people were nudged into doing just that.
All of which gets me thinking, “What, then, can you do from the Isle of Man to add to the sum of human joy rather than be the cause of more human misery? How do you balance the scales to compensate for your continued, immediately economically vital but in wider terms destructive life?
Those I love most have practical ways of spreading joy outside of rubbish jobs – music, cooking, baking cakes, or just fixing broken objects.
Me? I’m a contemplative, or as some would say, bone idle. What can I do?
But at the very least, I decided the very worst thing I could do was to write more gloomy missives, confirming what many strongly suspect.
So what do I write instead?
Come back sometime and find out.