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Monday 9th July 2018 @ 10:19 am

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world …”

When I was a teenager,  I thought by the time I was the age I now am I would have things figured out.

Have life figured out.

I really did think so.

I’m properly middle aged now.

I had always thought by the time I had these wrinkles, these bags under my eyes, these grey hairs and these exquisite love handles, I would also have things figured out to the extent I would not be caused undue stress by the state of the world.

I thought I would have wisdom, common sense, appropriate action and experience in almost every scenario.

I would be carried through life content and awake.

Sure in my actions and sure in my abilities.


Oh my


Not one bit of it.

It seems that with every media controlled revelation comes another shove from the east to knock me off balance.

Another populist vote.

Another banking scandal.

Another political hatchet.

Another drip feed ruination of the things which I thought (in my naiveté) where sacrosanct – strong communities – wise elders – international desire for humanity to win.


And my response?

In my head I hear buffooning Hugh Grant utter his soliloquy at the beginning of ‘Love Actually’  …

“Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world …”

And I get gloomy with the world.

I consider all that is going awry … a move away from family, community, social responsibility and compassion toward unfettered greed of consumer based capitalism … and I allow myself to shudder as I allow myself to contemplate ‘it has won.’

Margaret Thatcher was right, ‘There is no such thing as society any more’




And then I take a breath.



And I grow up again.

And I remember the only thing I can do something about.






And I begin again.

Begin again to ask myself what it means to act better.

To be better.

To be good.


And I realise I’m in my head.

And that’s the place where thinking happens – and so I allow myself to remember. 

I can think better.

And if I can – even I – then you can be damn sure the world can think better.


Thank you Alan Jacobs:

“This is what thinking is: not the decision itself but what goes into the decision, the consideration, the assessment. It’s testing your own responses and weighing the available evidence; it’s grasping, as best you can and with the available and relevant senses, what is, and it’s also speculating, as carefully and responsibly as you can, about what might be. And it’s knowing when not to go it alone, and whom you should ask for help.”

So – how is your thinking today? Is it lifting and weighing and observing and noticing and becoming more aware? Or is it simply getting gloomy with the state of the world?

Is it being defeated, or does it know it has endless possibilities contained within it’s power …

a power to transform

a power to heal

a power to be transformed and a power to be healed.


And I can learn – through habit and practice and learning  – to think better.

We all can.



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