Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Get a Grip!
Well the last few days have been a pain in the arse for we mere mortals and he hasn’t yet risen from the grave, so after back-to-back insincere eulogising and preening in the International Grief Olympics by politicians so mired in their countries’ grave economic troubles yet who were nevertheless available at the drop of a hat to fly thousands of miles to take selfies, the newspapers return to normal. That’s right, we’re back to being concerned about miracle diets, spying on the neighbours and wondering how obesity and poverty can be comfortable bedfellows. And Kim Kardashian's arse.
There have been millions of cubic metres of hot air expended in complaining about who was and who wasn’t allowed to compare themselves to you-know-who but one thing hasn’t changed – we all know that if there’s enough huffing and puffing, sooner or later the little piggies’ houses will be blown down. Or should that be blown up? Because I can tell you categorically that, for all the fine words, one thing will not have changed one tiny little bit and that is human nature. Remember, a hundred years ago we had the war to end all wars? Well, I just checked and it didn’t work. Not even slightly.
While you claim to hold up The Long Walk to Freedom to be the guide to the indomitability of human nature - a Zen-like acceptance of fate and a quiet determination to bring about peaceful change - the truth is more succinctly to be found in Lord of the Flies. If you don’t believe me, just watch. Watch your children in school fall under the thrall of influential troublemakers. Watch as they squabble over the most insubstantial of status trophies. Listen to the clamour for every faddish Christmas present and every stupid distraction from applying themselves to betterment. And then show me a successful parent who hasn’t been firm but fair. Or rich.
Because unless there is plenty – and there isn’t - you can only successfully lead by good example if you also have a bad example held in reserve. See my restraint as I resist the lure of the last bun on the plate, but be in no doubt I have a slap all ready for you in my other hand if you give in to temptation. Kindness alone rarely results in realistic expectations and Boris was right, some have less in their intellectual armoury; a bit of cruelty needs to be held in reserve and there’s nothing so cruel as the cold, hard truth.
While you look to the vanishingly few examples of sainthood on earth to change our world you can only ever be part of the problem unless you act. And if you don’t take control early on it gets out of hand; have you ever known a time when there were so many countries at war and so many populations rioting? You want to change all that? The answer is in your hands and there is no better time than the season of goodwill to make a start. So, get a grip and slap your kids silly for Christmas!