Change, what change?

I’ve been around a bit in my life.

If I haven’t travelled the world, I have certainly travelled the work and non-work experience, as well as areas that few have to. I have been in politics, and out of it. I have been in journalism, and out of it. I have seen the financial, management and economic world at work. I have learned from uncomfortable and continued experience how wonderful our NHS and its dedicated people are.

I have done jobs near the ‘top’ and jobs near the ‘bottom’. I have met, worked with and helped and been helped by people at every level of society; and not helped by some all over the place too!

In that time I have seen a world in flux; from a post-WWII to a post-credit-crunch. Frankly, for all its deprivation and shortages, I think it was better half a century ago.

“But,” you will be shouting at me, “we have made progress. the internet and computer, the airplane travel and the food supply. Why even the clothing and housing is better; our cars, our supermarkets.

“It is not good enough yet, but even dealing with one’s debt problems is better!”

Of course it is. But is – that extraordinarily difficult thing to describe – life better?

Alright, tell me: how much direct contact with people do you have? People that are not your family or work friends? I mean face to face contact, socially and of concern for one another? And of concern about where you live, and how?

If you are a younger person how much interest do you take in your parents? How often do you see them, or contact them to check how they are? And if you are an older one, how much do you seek to advise your children?

Families: how often do you gather round a table for a meal and a chat?

And when did you last feel contented. Not contented with any specific; not happy or sad; not triumphant. But just able to be still and enjoy the world?

Even a century ago William Henry Davies [the poet of the tramps] had this to say about the ‘progress’ of the industrial revolution:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to turn at beauty’s glance,

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Because of the pressures on me, partly over the debt issue, I have not been able to keep up this blog very well, far less stand and stare ;-). I am trying to rationalise how I do all this, so I am in the process of bringing the blog into my website and making the management of the whole far better.

Then I hope to write much more on the attempts to roll back all the advances made over treatment of debtors in recent years. Then, or at the same time, to prepare books of my poetry and write new poems. Then complete my book on how to create a better tomorrow. And then a few other things that I’d like to do.

Who knows, perhaps then I can just sit – or stand – and contemplate, well, just nothing; or at least nothing consequential.

Something to look forward to, anyway…

Joseph Harris

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