It’s a quiet day here in Edinburgh, blue sky with some beautiful cirrus meandering its way across the sky presaging a change in the weather in the next twenty four hours. A bit cooler too. Seems as though winter is starting to wake up and beckon the next stage of the year as our planet continues its journey around our sun, (one of many, remember, well, billions actually.)
So why the heading for this post? Simple really, it all started with a picture of the earth taken from the moon – yes, that famous one (Earthrise, photographed by William Anders during the 1968 Apollo 8 mission.) I was also reminded of our mortality by the news that a very good friend of mine is battling a life-threatening illness. A decent, caring human being who makes a difference to all those who know him. He’s a former US Marine and brings that ‘can do’ attitude towards fighting this ‘irritation’ as he calls it. He’s blessed with support around him. He has friends who care deeply about him and a family that is as ‘awkward’ as he is regarding any form of illness. He also has a dreadful sense of humour, (I’m smiling as I write that part.) His sense of the ridiculous lightens some of those dark moments he has sometimes he tells me.
It’s only when you see pictures like the earth from the moon, (how small we are); hear of close friends fighting an insidious ‘irritation’, (brings home your own mortality), that one can gain a kind of perspective. You then think about some of those whose egos and monomania drive them to seek positions of power, be it economic or political. The blowhards; the liars; the dysfunctional on so many levels; people in positions of authority and power, (not always the same thing), and you think, ‘Why are you behaving like this?’ ‘Why are you promoting hate in the way that you are?’ ‘Why are you denying our common humanity?’ It’s done for power? Really? To repeat myself, really?
In centuries to come people looking back at these dysfunctional individuals might ponder ‘What on earth were people thinking then? Why did they fall into the trap of believing all the hate and vitriol that these people spewed into the body politic?’
There again, if we don’t take control of our own destiny and see such people for who they are, then the next picture of the earth from the moon might well show a wasteland.
J J Mitchell
‘Never leave anyone behind…’