Hope can be the best friend of a clear mind - sometimes it's all that's left.
"Let the dog see the rabbit" - "See the wood for the trees" - "stand back from the coal-face" You will all know what I mean. The ability to take time out, cool down, take wise counsel and really listen. Take time to consider all the options and the repucusions of decisions further down the road. Let the water settle and then we can see clearly the reflection and the view behind us, a place where perhaps we had not seen or a position we had not considered before.
Quite often, the first reaction of the unenlightened when challenged or attacked, and to be fair, perhaps a natural reaction, is to dig in and entrench, rather than listen and balance the thoughts and ideas.
The trouble quite often, is the more they are challenged, the deeper they dig and the further entrenched they become, and the more difficult it gets to shift their views and so it gets increasingly difficult to back-track and at the same time 'save face'.
But here we are, still arguing about Border walls in the USA and Brexit here in the UK. We elevate our Law Makers to an esteemed position, with power, privilege and status - but the esteem they are held in is really up to them. Their words and actions count - it is how we define them, though alas it seems all too often, they are guilty of ill-considered words and actions. Mistakenly I believe, they have a habit of saying what they think their audience or power-base wants to hear, opposed to what they really want to say. This is only my supposition because I just cannot believe that so many political leaders do not grasp that they are there for everyone - not just, themselves and those who voted for them. So they end up getting their ideas and goodness corrupted. There are those of course, who just aren't good from the get-go.
But clear thinking seems to be lacking on both sides of the pond.
The point of these illustrious 'chambers of debate' is to listen - not just have your say but, I say again - to listen. To make an argument for change because it is better for everyone - long-term. I say long-term because there are not many decisions that are light-switch decisions - i.e. instant, though we live in this age where instant gratification is often demanded. Usually, the very best outcomes are a collection of ideas - or original ideas that are improved on by consultation with others.
Just for a moment, imagine the great leaders, those men and women who we historically hold in such high regard - those people we really admire, who made such a difference to the vast majority in their populations. Leaders who had the foresight to put forward proposals and the guts to make decisions, to take their world to a better place. Can you imagine them in this maelstrom of tangled pride, ego and prejudice that we see today? What would they think and what have we descended to?
Our political leaders are elected to power, in the UK by the majority of voting citizens and in the USA, by the Electoral college, which is not necessarily the majority, and in Trump's case wasn't.
It feels over here, and I suspect state-side also like something is broken. I don't quite know what it is - but my inner-sense tells me it is founded in fear - which it seems is driven by the basest, darkest, worst and lowest part of ourselves. It is as if we have lost our collective confidence and though all is well, a mist descends and we are unable to see our goal and direction and our world is filled with doubt and the panic of uncertainty - and seeking confidence we fall for the easy lies that trip out of the mouths of some so easily - but we find their words, no matter how false, comforting - it stills our fear and we blindly accept the painted nirvana in our imagination and for some reason, common sense fails to kick in - you know the one - where we can blame someone or a whole race of people or foreigners, aliens, people who don't belong here, for all our woes. 'Get rid of them and our world, as we remember it, will be well again'. But of course, memories are selective and by the time we realise we have just been seduced by our own greed and fear - it is too late. The damage is done.
On this side of the pond, the sands of time are running out quickly. Some point to the past two years plus of negotiation with the E.U. over Brexit as a total waste of time - but of course, it won't be, if we arrive at a sensible place where we all have won something. It will just have been a process we had to go through.
I have mentioned before my favoured option for the UK - to join EFTA. I believe trying to stay isolated is backward looking in a global world. We need to be welcoming and as a policy for both the UK and the USA, we should, by and large, support honesty, peace and endeavour for good, all around the world. Wherever we can, the emphasis should turn or certainly be increased towards soft power; so we should not just be solely relying on hard power and military might. As many have discovered in war, hearts and minds win the day, always. And that is based on kindness, empathy and understanding - what will help people to live good and safe lives?
But here we are, with a large number, of what must be considered to be, unenlightened law-makers, trying to guide us down a path where we will find ourselves with a weaker economy and far less influence in the world, thus giving the bad guys in the world much more of a free rein to reek their havoc on the rest of the world. Far from being leaders for good in our world, we in the UK will become - irrelevant.
What I can never understand is why are so many of our MP's are married to 'parties' - if 350 out of the 650 MP's elected - the 350 most sensible individuals got together from various sides of the political spectrum, determined to do the right thing for the good of our country, which would leave plenty of the prejudiced oddballs, at least enough to go around on the far Trotsky looney left and far prejudiced Luddite right - that would be enough to get the job done - a settlement reached that would satisfy the country, that everyone could live with. Why oh why is that too much to ask? Perhaps it isn't? Time will tell.
Rick - Suffolk - UK - 1st February - 2019