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Parenthood and Identity

9 Jul

Does being a parent make one more invested in the future?  It may do,  on the flipside of that opinion is the fact it could make you only interested in your own progeny’s future at the expense of all others.

Does being childless make a person less worried about the future? It may do, on the flipside it could make you more motivated to build a different kind of legacy in the world.

What I do know is that generalisations and attempts at one upmanship based on flimsy unprovable summations is wrong, shows a significant lack of awareness and will crumble at the most cursory examination.

All lives matter, everyone has value. The second that any stigmatisation of any group happens, moral high ground disappears.

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IDS Resigns

19 Mar

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I can’t help being pleased that IDS is resigning, his reforms to welfare have been brutal to the wrong people. Those who are disabled, vulnerable and who are unable to work.
These people are now thought of by many as scroungers who have chosen a lifestyle at others expense. The constant drip that spurious claims are costing all tax payers has seeped into the public consciousness deftly distracting attention from the real frauds and shirkers: those who avoid tax and others whose expense claiming sense of entitlement leech money from tax payers at every level.
I am glad he’s going, did I mention that already?
Not for one nanosecond do I believe that his conscience has been pricked by the budget led demand for more cuts to Independent Living Allowance. If this was the case he would have been vocally challenging HIS government for longer. I know how he disregards the vulnerable in his own constituency. I have counselled people who have been to see him to lay out their difficulties exacerbated by his reforms. Not one mentioned his empathy and compassion or subsequent help.
What worries me now is the stark truth that he was only one man doing his government’s bidding. There are many more within the government who can and will step in and take up the reigns with enthusiasm. Is this a case of better the devil you know? What IS going to happen next? I can only see more devastation. After all the Tories are the party of the people, those who are vulnerable clearly don’t meet that criteria
Namaste Jules

Related post Honour

Million Mask March

4 Nov

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I am a simple person, I try not to be judgemental. I do hold strong opinions and stand up for what I believe is just.  Sometimes that means supporting the right to express views that chafe against everything I hold dear.  Many times I have literally stood in the way of oppression.
I support the Anonymous  #MillionMaskMarch,  I believe that we need to all join together, nationally and globally to oppose tyranny and injustice.
The ideal way to show the strength of feeling against the government we have today is where no criminal damage is caused, no fighting occurs and everyone attending walks shoulder to shoulder with their neighbour, silently, slowly, purposefully: A wall of humanity moving as one united in their desire for a better way, a better world.
This is what I would love to see.  This type of action is hard to achieve.  This kind of demonstration is harder to discredit.

Namasté Jules

Honour

31 Oct

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If you had a relationship with a person who consistently told you lies, which you totally accepted as truth because you trusted them, what would you do?  Until you knew that they were lying, you’d probably defend them to others and continue to invest your own time and energy into keeping the relationship alive and healthy.  Until you are equipped to see the things they say and do as falsehoods you cannot really be blamed for your actions.  You were acting with honour.
What about when you are given proof that their words had no real meaning, they were merely a tool being used to manipulate you into compliance or even worse to actively gain your support to keep that person in a position of authority, not just over you but over others too?  Would you do everything in your power to expose that person’s falsehoods and take their authority away from them?  It’s not easy to do, but it’s the honourable thing to do.  It may result in suffering on a personal level.  Is it still the honourable thing to do?

What about if the person lying to you is part of a strong group?  Is it even more important to expose and challenge them?  The range of people their lies affect is vast.  Does that make it ok to be silent?  Questioning those around us, whether on a personal relational level or on a less personal level is not wrong.  It equips us with the information we need to regulate our behaviours in line with our conscience.  The way we question needs to be mindful and not just to deliberately cause harm for no reason.  Questioning doesn’t have to be a threatening stance, we can moderate our questions to fit the context of the situation we are in.  This is healthy behaviour.

Our government lies to us, as a unified body, as individual departments and as individuals who are elected as MPs.   Not just in one party,  no one party or individual only ever speaks the truth, we need to question everything and everyone with whom we have given the trust to represent us.  We need to press for changes to allow liars to be removed from office.  We need to be able to discuss policies and make informed choices.  This is impossible if we know that we are being constantly lied to and nothing gets done about it.  How can we bring about the changes needed to rout out deliberate deception?  How can we retain our personal integrity and honour if we do not?

Namasté Jules

The Right Honorable

12 Aug

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With all the political goings on, the actions of our gvt, the shenanigans of the Labour leadership quest and historical cases of varying kinds  I have been musing upon the title Right Honorable and what it signifies to a simple soul like myself.  I have discovered that I don’t think it can be a completely blameless person, as to be blameless one would have to be inert, of course pedants might be able to asign a blame of sorts to inaction (note to self: inaction may be one of the most perverse qualities I’d attribute to an MP).
I have discovered that it signifies to me a person who is able to accept when they are found to be or have committed an error, willing to accept responsibility for that error and then to try and address the issues caused by this error to the best of their ability whilst making sincere apologies. If it was not possible to address the issues, they would step down from their position as an act of contrition.  Historically this was a hallmark or accepted standard to aspire to for most folk whether from the gentle classes or of more lowly origins, it was generally called integrity, or good character.  Have we become so accepting of the spin and excuses of individuals that we no longer expect this standard to be enacted?   What does it say about the houses of parliament that this behaviour is almost extinct, it seems.  What does it say about us as a society when we accept the inaction of an individual without consequences that would be applied in other walks of life?

To my mind the passivity of the public in swallowing this has contributed slowly over the years into organisations and our own personal lives.  It feels as if it is far more common for a person to try and hide their errors, shift blame for them to someone else or even make excuses as to why this behaviour was deemed necessary.   I’m no angel by any means yet I would like to see more integrity around  especially in those who by definition of the title Right Honorable are the leaders whom we *trust* (cough cough, that was difficult to write!) to make decisions for our communities and our nation.  Change is needed on all levels, I’d better start with myself!

Namasté Jules

EU shortcomings?

28 Jul

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When I think about the EU, the first thing that comes to my mind is bullying.  It was set up to bring more equality to Europe but seems to have failed in that task.  There is no EU wide minimum wage, which in my mind would be an obvious starting point for equality, wouldn’t that lift many poor people out of poverty?
Over the last few months we have seen the richer more powerful countries bullying Greece to accept measures that on the surface will resolve a short term problem,  but in the long run will keep Greece in both an economic strait jacket and keep finances going to the richer elements whilst the ordinary people struggle to survive whilst paying back loans.  If a loan shark had made the equivalent terms to a group of individuals there would be an outcry for legal intervention I’m pretty sure!  But dress it up as official, and for the good of the EU, then it is perceived as acceptable by most.  Never mind the ledgers were fiddled with a willful blind eye overseeing them as the spiders spun their webs and waited for the inevitable failure that would bring their prey right to them.
As for farming,this week French farmers blockaded their borders to prevent cheaper produce being brought in from other EU countries.  I understand that farmers need to protect their livelihoods, and this is their idea of protectionism but is it in line with the ethos of the EU?  Historically farmers have been encouraged to produce food stuffs, even at a loss, due to the way EU subsidies are organised.  This does not always make sense, so markets are artificially inflated and deflated.  I remember the food mountains of rotting unwanted by the EU nations, food that was overproduced but unable to be shipped to other countries even though people were starving.  Something about the logistics of shipping it where it was needed trumped the costs of storing and then destroying it.  How naive I am to think the life has more value than profit.
The behaviour of the powerful states in the EU seems to be closer to bullying than support, it feels like warfare by finance to me.  The European Parliament seems to be run more for the gain of the myriad corporations who lobby there and the personal gain via expenses for MEPs than it does for the people of the member states, making a total mockery of the supposed democratic process it was set up to provide.  Tribalism appears to be more apparent than true politics, where are the strides towards unity and security for the ordinary people we were expecting?  Ah yes, sitting in the vaults of various banks whilst the players in the shadows wait to get even richer from the misfortunes of another member state.  Will it be Spain or Italy?  Is that OK as long as the UK survives?  Or will the people wake up and make changes that are fair for everyone?
Yes, I do want to get nearer to Utopia, yes it’s a dream I believe is worthwhile working towards.
Namasté

(My thanks to Max aka @maxjfreeman who asked for my opinion) 😉

Journey

28 May

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(Image via http://www.jennymvarley.co.uk)

I have been thinking about the very goal focused society that we have, all the inspirational quotes that people use to stay focused and achieve their goals.  That may suit many, it can give a much needed direction, it can also enable us to be trapped on a conveyor belt or into a state of being that makes us so goal orientated that we are inadvertently complying with the blinkered self centred life style which seem to be the *ideal* many organisations, corporations and governments want:
If you *succeed* you can be a part of the elite, if you don’t someone else can profit from the work you’ve done and *succeed*  in your place.  At least you’re too busy to notice that you could be a part of the process for change…
Yes, I am cynical 😉
As usual I digress!
To me life is all about the journey, it was how I taught, it is how I parent and it is how I live.  The journey takes us to places we may not have expected, where we can learn so much about others, ourselves and what is needed to be a useful member of the community of humanity.  We can sit and take time to listen to voices we may not have heard.  We can gaze upon wonders big and small that reveal themselves in the process of *being*.  We can learn about what is effective and what becomes barriers.  Some barriers need to be removed, others are there to serve as warning of danger.  We can test which it is: what is safe for me may not be safe for you and vice versa.  There is no rigid framework of what is *best* it is what it is, the hills and valleys come.  The experiences can be positive or horrendously negative at the moment we have them.  The journey is composed of both.  To me that gives them value whether I’d rather have avoided them or not!
Oh Cripes,  I’m sounding all preachy!
The journey gives me fuel to fight those things that I perceive as injustice and to give me insight into things that I had thought were wrong, often with new understanding I realise the positive or negative value I held needs to be adjusted.  Sometimes my fight becomes stronger other times I realise that I was mistaken or where I was directing my fight was not the place where the challenge needed to be placed.
Journeys, for me are what life is about, what do you think?  Can you show me?
Namasté
Jules

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