Monday, 23 July 2012

Movements v. Morals?

At the risk of sounding like Aesop of the Fables, or worse still, my Great Granny (very VERY opinionated, clever woman and not backward about coming forward either!) I just have to respond to Ann's comment last weekend because a) it triggered such a 'yesssss totally!' response in yours truly and b) she made a pertinent comment on the subject of movements...or Movements?!

Anyone with a 'war baby' for a parent has likely been brought up with a very strong thrify habit. Add to that living through the austerity of '40s and '50s Ireland, and you could add 'stingy' to the general lifestyle as well!! At the time it was born of necessity since there was nothing to spare and every single item had to be used, reused and then, if possible, remade for further use. I'm not knocking it at all, even with such ingrained habits we have had it so much easier that it is difficult for my generation to imagine how difficult it truly was.

It stood me in good stead when I moved to East Africa at 21 and had to get to grips with another lifestyle wherein there was little to spare and nothing could go to waste. In 15 years there I went from a reasonably affluent life to one on the brink of white poverty, and then to drought and flood on a fairly remote coffee farm where the chasm between 'haves' and 'have nots' was vast. One stored, hoarded, eked out, grew and shared everything with whoever needed what you had, and learned to gracefully accept gifts in every guise. There, a neighbour was such in the Biblical sense, ANYone in need.

Thrift? Common sense? Recycle? Necessity, me dears, not a lifestyle choice! And even now, after the Celtic Tiger and the years of prosperity which many MANY of us have experienced should thriftiness not still be a way of life? Waste not want not, frugal and considerate use of resources, conservation of our non-renewable planet, thoughtful preparation againt the future.

Despite my favourite sci-fi adventures, in reality, NASA doen't seem to have a bunch of inter-stellar Space Ships ready to beam us all off to a brand new planet so I guess we'd better seriously look at reversing some of the thoughtless damage we have perpetrated on this planet, as well as preventing future damage.

And so to the comment Ann made about Movements...These days it seems as though unless it is a 'movement' its not worth doing and unless it is a Propaganda Bandwagon there is no intrinsic merit in adopting the attitude. In my (loud!) opinion, if it is ethically and morally right then we ought to be doing it (whatever 'it' is at the time) regardless of mainstream or indie culture...or Bandwagon...or Movement..or anything else with a funny name.

One last (I think!) thought: I have a serious problem with the 'look at me' attitude which somehow seems to have become the norm, when people want to be congratulated for doing what in previous generations would have been called duty or community spirit. Whether or not anyone is looking, or anyone notices, and even if NO ONE notices, doing what is right should be our priority at all times. Easier said than done, for sure, but so be it: nothing worthwhile was ever easy.

Sure culture plays a part in our ethics, morals, choices and actions but a bit of good ould fashioned common sense never went amiss! Long live the silent, unobtrusive people who quietly, thoughtfully live right by their own lights.

PS just think, modren young 'uns don't know the joy of skip hunting and foraging and junk trawling just for the pure something-for-nothing un-political non-movement fun of it!!! what are they MISSING babe????

In the immortal words of Winnie-the-Pooh, 'That's what I think. But I don't suppose I'm right.'
(The House at Pooh Corner)

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