A Thought

Without Compassion I am Nothing

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Without compassion I am nothing.

For pity is not compassion,

It is no more than a patronising aloofness

That demeans the recipient.

But compassion encourages action.

 

Without compassion I am nothing, yet

Without anger I have one hand tied behind my back.

I must not lose my sense of indignation

At injustice, for without anger,

Nothing will be changed.

 

Without compassion I am nothing,

Yet without wisdom my anger will be directionless,

Blindly striking out to hurt both enemy and friend.

And doing more damage than any original wound.

 

Without compassion,

I am nothing.

 

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Be Kind

 

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Be kind.

Achieve wisdom and exercise that skill.

The world has always been filled

With angry greedy people.

You cannot legislate them away,

Or hope that they will die out.

The world has always relied on people

Who are kind and wise,

To act as counterbalances to these others.

Unfortunately, the World supply of angry greedy people

Appears to be limitless,

So there will always be a need for kindness and wisdom.

 

You might just save the world.

 

How to Swear

Strangely, I was inspired to write this post after my virtual trip to Nepal with Bob, although ever since the unfortunate and divisive events in the US and the UK, I have been inundated with a request from my follower to produce this guide.

This guide, then, is intended for those who find themselves in situations of such extreme frustration that a safety valve needs to be opened before anything useful and practical can be done about the problem. Or, indeed, before a physical injury is sustained unnecessarily.

I feel your pain, I truly do.

And so I humbly offer you, the reader, this handy cut-out-and-keep Guide to Swearing.

Swearing loyalty, swearing allegiance to something, swearing to tell the truth…that’s not what this is about, even though it’s a related subject.

No, this is about swearing!

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The swearing we might indulge in when someone or something irritates us beyond simply acknowledging that fact.

The swearing we might indulge in to demonstrate to others, or even just ourselves, how remarkably annoyed by that situation or person we are.

Something along the lines of ‘Blistering barnacles!’ for readers of a certain age. Or the mutterings of Mutley in ‘Wacky Races’ for other readers of a certain age. I’m afraid these cultural references will be lost on some…you’ll just have to swear at me for using them.

Firstly, and most importantly, one should choose the correct moment. I would not advocate swearing at any random time, for it is unlikely to have the desired restorative effect and, indeed, leaves the unwary user merely looking like a pillock.

Examples of bad moments might be during a marriage proposal, or an important meeting with your boss.

Whereas an example of a good moment might be, for the English cricket supporter, the following. Let us say that after losing an early wicket, in comes number 3, a contentious choice in any case, given his recent form, and promptly gives away his wicket with an ill-advised and airy shot to the first ball he faces. That would be an excellent time.

I used to find that a really good occasion would sometimes arise when I worked night shifts. Being awoken in the middle of the day, when I had just managed to get to sleep, by an insistent caller at the front door who demanded to know whether I had invited Jesus into my life, invariably worked.

A little bit of research might be helpful, here. Since you are unlikely to be the only person indulging in a bit of swearing (unless you live in a convent, or somesuch…and maybe not even then), you could stand out from the crowd by using some of the less-commonly heard swearwords. You might derive a certain amount of satisfaction, for example, by comparing your unfeeling relative to the intimate parts of a mammal, but how much more interesting for both spectators and participants to employ some rarely heard Viking term for the feeling one gets when an unusually cold gust of wind catches one unexpectedly just as one begins to perform on the privy?

That’s class, that is.

A few key words:

Adjectives. A careful use of adjectives will enable the Swearer to not only modify and enhance the power and meaning of the chosen epithets, but also, with a certain amount of skill, extend the outburst for up to a minute without the need to introduce a new noun, keeping those in reserve in case a second assault is required.

Breathing. Remember to breathe while swearing. Running out of breath suggests that not only have you not given due thought to the composition of your swear, but, worse still, perhaps have also lost control of the entire situation.

Cursing. Now, this is another thing entirely, and outside the remit of this post. Rather than simple (or complex) swearing, cursing implies the actual placing of a curse upon another person, with the aim of causing them injury, sickness or death. I shall deal with this more fully in my up-coming post ‘Getting Promotion at Work and Dealing With Troublesome In-laws’. There are those who hold that the two are interchangeable (cursing and swearing, I mean, not promotion and troublesome in-laws), and that the person who, in a moment of great stress and deep personal antipathy shouts something along the lines of ‘Trip over a nasty lump in the ground and hurt yourself, you frightfully horrid person!‘ is merely swearing, yet all they are doing is actually attempting to curse the recipient, albeit in an amateur and rather un-thought out way, and then tacking onto the end something that is technically a mere insult, which should only be used in other, carefully defined, situations (see ‘Using insults in carefully defined situations‘).

Happy ****ing swearing.

It’s all become quite vitriolic.

Which was predictable, of course, and, really, it always has been.

This high profile UK Member of Parliament or overpaid football star has avoided paying taxes on a huge income by squirrelling it away overseas somewhere.

That one has done it by calling his money something else – Ethel, perhaps, or William Wildebeest. I don’t know.

Others do it other ways, but the law supposedly only gets interested if the perpetrator pretends that the money isn’t theirs, or so I thought. Because apparently you can invent a non-existent company and stuff the money into that, register it on an island somewhere in the Caribbean or on a small planet not far from Jupiter, and then legally avoid paying any tax on it.

Nice

Society demands, quite rightly, that if we are to live in that society, there are certain rules that we abide by. One of these rules, generally, is that we pay our taxes.

Taxes go to pay for, amongst other things, our hospitals and our emergency services. Those that seek to ‘avoid’, i.e. evade, paying their taxes, presumably still wish to live under the rule of law, and would want to be treated in a hospital should it prove necessary, and if their house caught fire, would presumably like to have the fire put out as soon as possible.

The root of the anger and hostility is, quite simply, fairness. When the average member of society sees that a number of extremely rich individuals can legally flout the law by manipulating where their money is and what they call it, whilst those who are blessed with only a tiny proportion of their wealth have no choice but to pay their share, then there will naturally be resentment.

The fact that the law allows it will do absolutely nothing to curb this anger.

Of course, different countries have different tax laws, some of which are set up to encourage foreign investment.

Which then seems to be a small step from foreign-capital-sitting-quietly-in-an-account-‘earning’-interest–not-paying-taxes-and-not-attracting-attention-from-its-country-of-origin.

That something is legal obviously does not necessarily prevent it from being morally repugnant.

And I am sick of hearing the argument that if we do not bend over backwards to favour and reward the rich then somehow our country will lose out.

Presumably they will take their money elsewhere if we don’t – oh, they have done already, did you say? Never mind. Give them some more.

The laws on income tax, specifically, have been formulated and changed and added to and changed again over a couple of hundred years, so it should be no surprise that what we have today is a hotchpotch of laws and loopholes. Perhaps if they could be scrapped and then a new, simplified, set drafted, we might be able to get to grips with this in a proper way.

Because it is no longer acceptable for the law to continue to function in this manner.

It needs to be fair; it needs to be morally right, as well as legally right.

And…keep it polite, please, folks!