Tuesday, 30 November 2010


i observe a number of positive and admirable qualities
which are regularly trumpeted in modern britain
we are encouraged and exhorted to be:
hard-working (as in "hard-working families")
responsible (as in "responsible parents" or "responsible drinkers")
patriotic (as in unquestioningly supporting government misadventures abroad)
loyal (as in brandishing our supermarket / department store loyalty cards)
status-conscious (good at keeping up with the jones)
credit-worthy (good at borrowing money to keep up with the jones)
entrepreneurial (having a good eye for making money)
wealthy (making money and giving it to the exchequer)
fun-loving (keen on spending money)
attractive, preferably sexy or ideally 'hot'
(the attainment of which is likely to involve moving more product)
youthful (not looking - or acting? - our age; ditto)
what all these qualities seem to have in common is two things:
obedience and conformity to society's pre-ordained goal
i.e. maximum growth by means of maximum profits
by means of maximum consumption
these qualities are carefully cultivated
at school
in further and higher education
and at work
but there is an attribute conspicuously missing from the above list
a quality which trumps all the others hands-down
an attribute attained by fully understanding the human condition
and the nature of things
a quality only achieved by cultivating conduct and actions
which bring deep and lasting fulfilment, peace and contentment
(as opposed to those that lead to misery, discord and chaos)
yes, our society fails miserably to cultivate wisdom
our leaders and elders
our greaters and our betters
those who should know better
only urge us to consume, hate, indulge ourselves and fan our egos...
and look on with satisfaction as we dumbly rush to oblige

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