In life, there are aspects of that very life that internally we treasure and cherish deeply, there are memories we value and that make us happy and perhaps also sad in the same instant of recall – these are precious moments of reflection that warm and comfort us, give us strength and not least validate our existence when, with pride, we think of and look at family, friends and loved ones.
There are also aspects of life that we recollect with anger, pain, confusion, fear and even self loathing – these are our demons that, although we deny and suppress them, still rear up and visit our consciousness from time to time or for the tragically unfortunate have never left.
When they call they can paralyse, obsess, weaken and threaten to destroy us if we allow it or cannot control it or more often we cannot forgive let alone forget.
I think it’s safe to say that most of us know or know of someone that we may consider embittered, angry at life or angry at the world or more commonly resolutely cynical.
Indeed that someone we know or know of may even be part or whole of our very self.
Any person that has lived a life has very possibly met, directly or indirectly, tragedy, misfortune, prejudice, oppression and violence and as a result has suffered emotional and spiritual damage.
So how is that damage limited, repaired or, at least, mitigated ? – that’s achieved by shedding the burden of railing against fate, by abandoning clinging to the wreckage and swimming on ….by simply letting go of what is weighing and dragging you down.
Yes, it’s easy for me to say, it may sound clinical and without due allowance for human frailty but in the final analysis it’s how we cope.
When you are approaching the end of you alloted life span, assuming you make it this far and having read the advertising ploys of the ‘funeral plan’, I have to wonder if this is just a final effort to squeeze more money out you before departing this world.
If having squeezed expensive disposable nappies, mountains of short life toys and clothes for babies from you.
They then move on to school life that starts with ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ after all your child can’t be without the latest expensive ipad, iphone, games etc (never mind whether lunch consists of a packet of crisps and a packet of sweets), we’re then met with university costs, regardless of whether your child wants to be a mechanic, a university degree is a must.
They may not know why something works as long as they know how to replace it, that worthless piece of paper is needed.
Moving on to adulthood and responsibilities, the pressure in having a perfect house which looks as if it comes from the pages of a magazine and still needs an annual complete redecoration because last year’s furniture is ‘so not cool’.
So now to live in the perfect home, living on take-aways because you don’t want to soil the kitchen, you need an interior designer, no B&Q for you, it has to be the works.
Of course last year’s garden also needs a makeover, for goodness sake, there are weeds growing in the path so that needs to change.
With the modern days, morals has slipped a lot, now that they have their perfect home they decide to get married.
A modest £100 for a marriage and certificate at a registry office somehow escalates to an average of £30,000 for the full works.
A few thousand pounds for a dress that’s worn one day! A white dress which signifies purity and virginity – I don’t think so, it’s a pretence, a mockery even worse if the marriage is performed in a church, that is a bigger mockery.
I wonder how many can keep the vows they have made a solemn promise on. A registry wedding is just a legal formality and that’s all a non believing couple require.
It’s bad enough spending more money on an unnecessary honeymoon but they also need the stag & hen do as well.
Still beats me why they need all that when they’ve been living in sin all this time.
One of my interest in genealogy and when you delve into the past you can’t help thinking about what it was like to live without comforts of central heating, fitted carpets, microwave ovens, computers and mobile phones.
Life was hard, that was obvious but what we would consider a hard life now, in some cases would have been luxury to our ancestors.
I thought of my parent’s generation, my generation and my daughter’s and the simple differences on how we were all brought up.
My parents started work at the age of 14/15, after a spell in domestic service my mother trained as a psychiatric nurse.
My father went into an engineering apprenticeship.
Neither had academic qualifications and my mother was a natural at her job, dad was brilliant at his, but they learned the hard way – hands on.
They were excellent loving parents who after marriage, my mother gave up her work (as was expected then) she then became an A1 homemaker.
There was no fast food, unless you count the fish ‘n’ chip shop or ice cream shop, mum did all the cooking, cleaning and baking and best of all, she was always there for us. They would have been extremely comfortably off in today’s generation but not so then.
In my situation at least, there were family units, grannies and grandpas, aunts and uncles and the close friends who had been given the honorary titles of aunt and uncle because we would not address our elders by their first names otherwise.
All of these seem to be equally responsible for our well being and happy to clip our ears if we stepped out of line.
My generation came through the hippy years, and with more women working after marriage, it was easier to get a mortgage with two wages being fully taken into consideration and with that the rise in house sales and the ultimate rise in house prices. This started the process, women had to work to help with the mortgage and many of the children could no longer depend on the complete parental care.
I’ve never seen the point of having children then farming them out to someone else to care for – and influence.
Things also became easier in home care, gadgets galore making sure it was easier for working mothers.
I opted to stay at home to care for my daughter, my mother had been there for me and I have always appreciated that , I felt the best I could give my child was to be there for her and make sure she had a good education.
I’ve never regretted that choice although we weren’t well off and it was a struggle for us financially.
My daughter’s generation is quite something else.
Welfare benefits for those know the system can get a single mum a home, large council tax discounts and lots of benefits meaning and she has no need to work, the welfare subscribe heavily to her.
The girls talk openly about getting pregnant to get a house and benefits.
They can be seen out with the best of pushchairs which are forward facing so their child cannot see them, they have a cigarette in one hand and talk constantly on a mobile phone not the child.
I think it is so sad that our generation has allowed that to happen.
I took my daughter everywhere I could, we went for walks and picnics in the local park.
I cooked her meals and taught her to cook.
Many young families today exist on take-away meals. I learned a great deal from my parents as they did from theirs and I feel that is where the learning is, you can’t put it in a text book.
Dr Spock started it which encouraging free expression yet his own son committed suicide and his was the type of advice we were encouraged to take.
Not all parents are good, we know that as well but the way things are, it seems the majority has to suffer in order to protect the minority, surely there are better ways.
The family nucleus seems to have been replaced by the street gang family.
I’ve heard foul language being used by grandchildren to their parents and grandparents and sometimes with the threat to report them.
So much authority has been taken away from parents and with that seems to have gone, the skill of parenting, respect for elders and authority.
What will happen with the next generation I wonder.