Tuesday, 22 July 2008
How do you do?
This is my first blog, so "How do you do? Pleased to meet you!" I'm married to an archeologist, Jeffery, and we live in caravan (trailer, if you're American) and we go wherever his work is. I'm not able to work, being of fragile health and having destroyed my right elbow in 2007, so I'm a kept woman - a privilege in this day and age, and much appreciated.
Our lifestyle means we see life from a different angle, and have quite different priorities from most people, so I thought someone out there might be interested in how our life unfolds. At present, just for this week, we are on a very small site, which is attached to a museum of bubble cars. I have discovered that many people haven't heard of them, which is a shame, as I think they could be a good way forward for personal transport now that we are, finally, becoming aware that oil won't last forever, or its products. Bubble cars are tiny, 1 or 2 seater vehicles (mostly) with very low fuel consumption engines, and often only 3 wheels. As we travel around the country I find myself seething at the number of vehicles we encounter with 4 or more seats and only 1 or 2 people in them - usually only one. They are often very thirsty, status-symbol vehicles, which cost alot to buy as well as to run, and in a world where there are still so many homeless and hungry, even in the developed world, it makes my blood boil!
Then, of course, I'm appalled by the number of large houses inhabited by a handful of people, or even just one, when others are reduced to living on the streets. Most of those in these over-large houses would no doubt regard these homeless people as having reduced themselves to this pass, and have only themselves to blame - a very comfortable view for the house dwellers, but not very honest. Many homeless people, and the hard-up generally, have nothing but bad luck, or the greed of others, to blame for their predicament. I found myself homeless with 2 children and a stepdaughter to care for, no income or possibility of working, when my mentally ill husband ceased to take responsibility for us. I don't blame him, he was ill, but the state didn't want to know - as far as they were concerned it was up to my husband to care for us, or for me to get a job - with no consideration of 3 young, bewildered children who needed care and support on an emotional level, as well as physical. If it hadn't been for some very special, caring people, I dread to think what would have become of us.
Don't get me wrong, this is not the rant of a chip-on-the-shoulder nutcase, but the frustration of living in a society that refuses to recognise that its real wealth is always its people. If we don't maximise the quality of life of ALL our young people, the future is desperately bleak. At the rate my own body is deteriorating, I, personally, won't be around to see the results of global warming etc, but that doesn't mean I don't care. I have a new-born grandaughter, and several other grandchildren, and I fear for their quality of life as adults if our society doesn't adjust its priorities. They are the future, and we castigate them as "hoodies" and "thugs" etc at our peril. Authoritarianism is not the way forward, punishment only creates anger (justifiable) if governments don't start listening we will all pay the price, democracy is about the government being the servant of the people, not the other way round. Government can only really do anything with the agreement of the population, and if we listen to the scare-mongering of the media, then we only have ourselves to blame when we lose our freedom and individuality.
Rant over! "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" and it's all the little things that count, so let's all do lots of positive little things every day - like exploring the opinions of young people, and listening to their music, the lyrics give me hope!
Posted by Moomin at 22.7.08