The disconnected

He’s talking about coal but makes fascinating points about contemporary society, political challenges we face, how we’ve created this mess and the actions we need to take

We are, today, at the end point of a millennia-long process of disconnection. Since we first built cities and started leaving the land we have been disconnecting from nature; losing sight of it, quite literally; losing our vocabulary of it, to the extent that blackberry is no longer a fruit to be plucked and eaten but a device to tie us to our desks when we’re on the toilet.

Nature was just the beginning. While this slow severing has been going on for thousands of years, the last few centuries – the reformation, the enlightenment, the industrial revolution, and capitalism – performed the amputation.

In capitalism, we have created the first social organising principle based on selfishness, the first system to make greed, competition, non-cooperation its credo. In Thatcherism, we have the declaration that there is no such thing as society. In neoliberalism, we have a system which alienates us from each other, from our labour, from democracy; a system which declares we have great choice while turning everything into a supermarket aisle full of different but identical toothpastes; a system which insists we have great freedoms while systematically removing more and more of our capacity to have any real control or influence over, or stake in anything real in our lives.

That’s why we can have politicians actively discussing doing something which not only makes no economic sense but will actually kill people, while most of the population turns away to binge-watch the next series on Netflix.

There is only one way through this – we have to reconnect. And it’s already happening. Around Australia and the world, people are seeking out reconnection in all sorts of ways. We are starting community groups, getting involved in community gardens and food co-ops, starting childcare and health co-ops, joining sharing groups instead of buying more stuff. Instead of always doing things on our own, as disconnected individuals, we are looking for innovative ways to work together, to eat together, to live together. And, excitingly, we’re banding together to create social and political forces to be reckoned with.

Check the full article here

Wow 3

 

Some are not even that lucky. The current shouting in our street is from the guys rebuilding the drainage channels. The boss hasn’t got any money to pay them. Some are paid daily (around 600rs,) weekly or even monthly. So how are they supposed to manage?image

wow 3

well the shortage of cash is now beginning to affect me.

I jokingly refer to Indian being consistently inconsistent and don’t misunderstand me, I love the people and the place but sometimes it just takes the biscuit! and can be sooooo annoying.

I didn’t have enough money to buy train tickets this morning. So I ended up with a single instead of a return.

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I’d also taken the scooter for a service.

 

Would they accept a card or cheque?

Not at either the Post office or the scooter main dealer. So I go to the  nearest Bank (branch of Canara, my personal bank) massive scrum around the bank door. No chance. Next, the five ATMs in the vicinity, all not working. So I get the motorbike out to go to the city and visit the bank branch to cash a cheque for 12,000 Rupees (its around 140 devalued pounds after Biscuit (aka Brexit)). That’s my max allowance now for the week.  Then back to the Post Office to get my return ticket. The clerk has my form, from the first trip to the Post Office in front of her, on the desk (its required to show what ticket you want). There are all the details of the return part of the journey on the same form, she uses that form to complete the details into the computer.

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“Sorry sir can’t take the details from this form” where it listed all the details of the train, its name, number, our names, ages, address, out and return dates and times, preferred class and berth, starting station, getting on station, getting off station. “You need to complete a new form”.

Its at this point I begin to lose it!

later, back home…..

what next?

Half the money has now gone. I suddenly have the realisation that at this rate we’ll not have enough cash to go on holiday next week. That’s why I bought the bloody train tickets.

half a rant

at the bank I asked for my pass book to be brought up to date but have to call back as recent entries are not in the book, is there are a problem? Sorry sir each update (printing of deposits and withdrawals in the book) can only have twenty entries per day/visit. So I have to go back to the bank tomorrow for another printing session to see the other deposit/withdrawal entries. What!? Really?

Farrell’s dodgy factoid and questioning.

I seriously wonder what would have happened if the UK Govt had unilaterally deleted ALL the five and twenty pound notes in circulation overnight and then severely restricted how many of the replacement notes each person could withdraw so they just didn’t have enough cash! Would we have been so accepting and tolerant?

Yesterday a guest managed to cash 2,000 Rs of old money at my bank and had indelible ink marked on his finger nail so that he couldn’t go to another bank to exchange more. Mad!?

 

its 2 am in the morning

It’s 2 am in the morning and I’ve just given the dog, Lucy a final walk of the day. In the shadows I noticed a mother and daughter, covered with shawls, scarves and carrying bags.Waiting tentatively for me to pass. Once I and the dog had passed by they continued on their journey.

Who are they? what are they doing?

As they continue to walk through the area I can hear the wild street dogs kicking off.  I guess that they are poor people just travelling through. It must be quite scary and daunting with barking dogs at most corners and now I’m back at home I hear the whistles in the distance of the policeman on their beat.

What must their life be like?

It makes me stop and reflect for a moment and think about those poor people and what I assume are very different and difficult lives.

I might live in India but as you might expect, in a middle class lifestyle and quite detached from the experience of many very poor people.

I recognise how important it is for me to not lose sight of the difficulties that people face and somehow to connect.

I think we should try

IMG_1143I still facilitate ‘training’ workshops for corporate clients. An absolutely critical part of the sessions is to help people see things from the others’ point of view. This is, of course,  not just relevant to business.

Alexander McCall Smith puts it like this….

“People tried to understand, and many did, but not everybody could make the imaginative leap that landed one in a position of another person, in their shoes, in their very garments, looking out on the world with their eyes, feeling what went on inside their hearts; being made to cry by the things that made them want to cry. That was easy in theory, but hard in practice. They pretended to understand because they could not know – not really know – what it was like to be the other. That was because it was not them. That was why they could not think that. It had to be you.”

in his novel: Trains and Lovers.

If I understand some of his teachings correctly the Dalai Lama shows that this is what compassion is about. Seeing things from the others’ point of view.

I know its hard but in life, it’s important that we should try.