"Learning to live and living to learn"
The Sunday morning rituals are over. I’ve reviewed the newspaper headlines and caught up with the latest postings on “Facetube” on both sides of the Atlantic. And as usual, I’m filled with a sense of despair at the injustice in our world. Lily, (the dog who must be adored), feels my pain and is cozying up beside me, licking my hand in an expression of empathy, as is her way. Lily has a level of emotional intelligence I don’t see so evident in the human species and I admire her for that.
Here in the UK, we have the misfortune to be cursed with the incessant ruminations of an insufferable blow-hole who goes by the name of Nigel Farage. I notice too, that this mind-numbing fog-horn crops up from time to time across the pond, slithering amongst the Trumperati like a fawning sycophant looking for a complimentary suite in Mar-a-Lago for a weekend sun-snack to the Sunshine State.
In a recent barrage from Farage, it appears that this “self-styled” politico has decided to “forsake politics to fight the woke agenda”. I will gloss over the obvious, inherent contradiction in the statement and ask, “does this blowhard understand the meaning of the word woke?” I don’t think so! Let’s take a moment to consult the Oxford Oracle - woke, adjective: alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice. Now, I would think that any individual seeking to promote themselves as an echo chamber for the Vox Populi, would, as a fundamental characteristic, be someone who is alert to discrimination and injustice in society. Apparently, such competence, according to Farage, is to be derided.
Farage reminds me of my school days when coping with the politics of the playground, we had to put up with some individuals who would cat-call from the back of the class and seek to disrupt the learning process. They would criticize everything but never come up with any positive suggestions for how to improve things. Eventually, they would wear down the teacher’s patience and be removed from the class and told to stand outside the door. I think now would be a good time to adopt a similar approach with Nigel Farage.
I would like to propose that as we look to the future, and focus our attention on recovering from recent shocks to the social system, as we concentrate on rebuilding our societies anew, we wake up to the potential havoc that people like Farage, who have no real appreciate for the implications of complexity in the social system, can wreak. I propose that we look for leaders who remain alert to discrimination and injustice in society and be prepared to address it, rather than giving our attention to those who blow hard from the side-lines without any real understanding of the issues, nor plans for positive intervention.
Let’s learn from Lily and express empathy for those who feel discriminated against and if anyone accuses us of being woke, express gratitude for the compliment.