Friday, September 5, 2014

Grieving For The World That Was And Now Is...

I know how lucky I am.
I know it every morning when I wake to the sun rising from the edge of the horizon.
My personal problems are few and forgettable.
Most days I cut wood and collect water.
Some days I catch a fish. Some days I don't.
I'm at a place where even when the wildest winds are buffeting, when the rain is mixed with the salt spray from the sea and hitting my Flying Tortoise at a million miles an hour, there's still a peacefulness about being here,
this place I choose to call home, for this moment.
Living simply. By this tree. In the now.
It's a place kissed by the sun and lit by the moon. It's a place where the stars are the brightest.
It's a place of infinite natural beauty where the rest of humanity isn't and I like that.
But I grieve.
I've been recently reminded of some words of wisdom by Martin Luther King.
'Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter'.
As a human being I have a voice.
As a social commentator I'm compelled to speak.
The world is an untenable place for many.
The little country of New Zealand, once touted as the best place in the world to bring up children,
is I'm afraid, no longer.
It has become, just like yours, a country where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Where the have's want more and the have not's just want enough.
There are just way too many living lives of quiet desperation. Inequality is alive, well and thriving.
And the greater the inequalities in a society, the more crime and social ills there are.
Corruption implicating the Prime Minister and his government is alive and well in New Zealand politics too. Political arrogance is rife.
We are about to have elections and it won't matter who we vote for, the government will win.
And impose more and more restrictions rules and regulations on the population at large.
But as usual, those who make the rules and seek to impose them, are themselves
rarely affected by them.
Banks will continue to offer an umbrella while the sun shines and demand it back when rain threatens.
Corporations will continue to make vast fortunes at our expense and drug companies will create illnesses for the world to have so their products will gain greater market share.
And I grieve.
When I was a child I grew up with complete freedom. The doors of the family home didn't need to be locked at night,
I went to the beach unsupervised, with other children, we played on the streets, child molestation and rape were unheard of.
People were free to be who and what they wanted. The gap between rich and poor
was hardly noticeable.
How I grieve for what was.
And how I grieve as you may, that none of our grandchildren will see the beauty of that world.
They won't know about climbing trees, learning to catch and prepare fish.
They won't know the simple pleasures of life.
They will never know how amazingly free and beautiful their country was.
They will know another world. A virtual world.
They will know about greed and consumerism though. They will know about hate, jealousy, killing and bigotry.
They will be consumed by Social Media.
It's taken over the world. It's taken over lives.
It will take over theirs.
It will consume them and spit them out.
Abject trivia is the order of the day with people sharing their most intimate and boring secrets.
And the owners of Facebook, Twitter and others are ever encouraging. They love it.
They can and do track our every movement as we make our way, often stumbling through our inconsequential lives. 
Our privacy is no longer. Future Shock is past and 1984 is well and truly here having surpassed it's author's wildest dreams.
Whatever you do and whenever you do it and whoever you do it with is easily known. The GPS on your smartphone isn't for you, it's for those who wish to track your every movement. Your every purchase is recorded. Communication companies store your phone calls, your emails are available for scrutiny.
Your deleted texts are easily found.
And the Social Media that was spawned in the western world is being used now by those who despise the ways of the West.
And the West cannot escape criticism.
It too has guilt on its hands.
Social Media is a weapon of mass destruction.
Social Media, the plaything that billions of people use every day is wrecking havoc with the fabric of society throughout the world.
It will remain unchecked and we will have our minds and lives altered and destroyed by the ongoing videos of the most vile, grotesque and despicable crimes against humanity.
Such as the propaganda videos of the recent beheadings in the Middle East that were presented on Social Media to the world.
I believe in Freedom of Speech and I grieve...


  1. A wonderful commentary on the present world written from your place of peace, Keith.Great words of Martin Luther King's. The future isn't what just happens - it's how we choose to act.

  2. We are the last generation to remember an innocent and free childhood. Keith, you brought back a scene from when I was 6 or 7 years old. My mother would leave the empty milk bottles with a note and money on the back step in front of the unlocked door to our house. Knowing that milk, cheese and butter could not be left to spoil outdoors, the milkman came into the kitchen and left everything ordered in the fridge and any due change on the counter. He would cut a couple of slices of bread from the loaf mom had left for him and spread it with butter and closed the door behind him upon leaving. This went on for years with never anything in the house missing except its inhabitants who had gone to work and school secure in the knowledge that all was safe at home.
    Now that I'm in my second childhood, I too grieve for the first.

  3. Wise words today, Keith. When I was young I let the key stay in the car as I went shopping in town. Times have changed a lot - here in Denmark as everywhere, and shit happens all the time. But I prefer to remain consious naive whith the words of Dalai Lama in mind: "Life is wonderful as long as you don't Waste it".

  4. I am really glad and feel blessed that I grew up in a time when I did. Yes, there were plenty of problems in the world but not like today. And, I suppose that there were rapes and child molesters back then too, but we never heard about them. I spent my childhood growing up running free in the woods and forests of our area, unattended. I came home at meal times, of course. Oh for the good old days. Now, didn't every generation say the same thing?

  5. What a wonderful summary of 'the good old days'. It certainly brought back memories of a childhood of freedom and simple things. I think society has deteriorated and todays children live in a virtual word of fantasy that to them seems reality. My challenge to myself today is to still live simply and out of the 'rat race' as much as possible and to treasure the freedom of how I think therefore how I approach life and what I do in my retirement or 2nd childhood years. It's a special time of life when these options are available.

  6. Keith.
    This is one of the most powerful, profound and eloquent postings you have ever penned.
    It is the truth.
    As brothers and sisters we share in your grief.
    We love you.

  7. The good old days when we were young.. a lot of water under the bridge me thinks.. Very heart felt blog this morning K.. I see the tree is fine, are you oK?? hug

  8. I feel that grief myself

  9. The town of my childhood was an industrial horror (Lodz, Poland), so was the system; now I live in one of the most controlled, managed & densely populated places on Earth. I just came back form a forest with more mushrooms than a dozen people could eat (most will be dried), I water the beans on my windowsill (second wave, great taste) and my granddaughter loves the blackberries I pick for her, near a field were horses play and find apples just fallen from trees (near the metro station). On my way out I saw two guys with fishing rods and wanted to ask where they were going, but they jumped on their bikes before I could approach. I read an item in the news about seals becoming a nuisance around the baltic (very polluted) island of Bornholm, and saw an advertisement for down-priced local mussels (from another body of water). All this in just one morning, and my life is NOT one of privilege. I'm not trying to contradict You, not at all - just saying life is more difficult to tame than the media tell us. Courage!

  10. Dear Kieth, I so look forward to all your posts~ they are the one constant in a world I find almost impossible to cope with~~ you bring joy, quirkiness, humor and life affirming , interesting posts. So grateful that you are around and share your world. However at every turn there is so much destruction and dismantling now (and for some time really~ especially starting noticing it in the early 80's) of all that should be most sacred~ the earth, it's creatures in all forms ~ all living beings~ Incredible at times, to see how easy it really would be to solve and address so much of what causes so much misery and suffering~ If only each person tried consciously to follow the "Golden Rule" and "Harm None"~ these should be our credos. As Thomas Paine so wisely said" The World is my country, all my men my brethren, to do good is my religion." The practice of tolerance and respect for all life~ animal, human , our mother earth~ How beautiful and fulfilling our lives could be if there was real recognition of these things . To cooperate instead of compete~ instead of endless greed and accruing of material objects for no real need or purpose, us only what we really need ~ It always leaves me thinking that at least half or more of the world is simply ignorant or mad and the rest just greedy self absorbed asses and the truly good and intelligent people are either suppressed or trampled over and feel like a small voice crying in the wilderness. I do think however that with anything man comes up with, like the internet , it has the power to do both great good as well as evil~ For the first time due to being able to instantly share information , we can collectively voice our concerns and objections to all manner of evils via petitions and emails to authorities. We can be made aware of all sorts of issues that need our voices ,that we otherwise might never know about. I have to take some sort of comfort that some of these online petitions and alerts have actually made a real difference~ It also allows people who are very concerned about what is happening all over the planet, to connect with other like-minded people and organize march and protest ~ I do agree with so much of what you say however, as so many people never examine their lives, their actions or think independently about much of anything so buy into the mainstream mass marketing rubbish ~ but there are people too in the world like you and the individuals who follow your blog and many others who do think and long to return the world to sanity and compassion, enlightened thinking and behavior. I think as long as we are here on this precious planet , we must never give up speaking out and fighting against what we know is wrong~ For me , as crazy and as depressed as it can make me , to do nothing would be a far worse fate and impossible for me to live with. How to find a balance is the real problem for me. Thank you for this heartfelt post. Many of us relate all too well with your own feelings and observations. We both need some big hugs ~ the world needs a loving embrace too. Love to you.

  11. Thank you Keith for this post. It speaks powerful words of truth and I believe you speak the feelings of many of our generation. Our hearts are breaking that the world we envisioned of peace, love and unity for all humanity, and all our relations, on our shared Earth remains elusive. Let us remember tho', that we are the generation of environmentalts, animal rights activits, organic and natural food providers, herbal remedies, yogies, eperimentation in artistic and musical expression. brought in more freedoms for personal appearance, religious and cultural diversity. "'what counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is the difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead." ~ Nelson Mandala. Let's continute then to celebrate life and each other, let's play and pray together, lets explore new social relations, let's relate to one another in a deep and meaningful way. "Teach Your Children Well..."

  12. What a wonderful post; my thoughts exactly.