Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Something To Complain About

I like a good moan from time to time; I mean, a real good temporary, subjective review of all of the little annoying disturbances that occasionally can ruin my morning. Like the trains running late when I'm hurrying to get to work on time, someone in my office not holding a door open for me, or running out of cigarettes when the shops are closed.

I notice I am not alone here either. My work colleagues and family like a good moan too; they complain about the lack of good television programming, the lack of sunshine outside, the lack of a good manners the youth display these days. People do like to moan and complain about every little detail that does not agree with how they expect things to be within their 'perfect ideal world'.

In fact, we are actually conditioned to complain about the little things; we enjoy doing it, and expect to hear the same when conversing with others. Just ask most people how much they enjoyed their holiday or vacation, and listen to their forthcoming answers. " Oh, it was great, really enjoyable, but _______ " - You can fill in the blank with any small unimportant triviality that contributes to an established, socially-acceptable 'Moan'.

However, what if the above blank was filled not by a rant about cloudy weather or loud drunken teenagers, but replaced by a terrifying description of a very large Tsunami that didn't just ruin their vacation, but one that almost took their own and loved ones lives, and destroyed the lives and livelihood of potentially hundreds of thousands of innocent individuals.

(Incidentally, as I'm writing this I can actually hear one of my colleagues complain about how the Germans 'took over' on his holiday, while they all share the same Spanish resort for two weeks with their UK neighbours.)

The sad fact and grand truth is, all of us who live in so called modern civilised suburbia have very little to complain about (for the moment anyway, more on that later...).

We, in contemporary Western Europe have seen no giant waves crush our coastal towns, or witnessed our families being dragged under floating cars, trees and houses. And while I'm comparing Western Civilisation to the 'Other Countries' far away over there, not since WWII have we seen bombs decimate our families, friends, neighbours and cities. Not since those times have we as a people experienced any real suffering (with the terrible exceptions of former Yugoslavia).

So what the hell do we really have to moan about? Recent world events, from the pointless destruction of Iraq to the devastating Asian Tsunami, have highlighted our relatively safer position, hasn't it?

So, are we just the luckier ones in this current cycle of natural and man made disasters doing the rounds? Is it really just a lottery as to which country, culture and timeline we are born and raised into? Is it a random throw of God's or nature's dice which decides this fate? And will we be the next ones to experience such?

These questions have been on my mind since I was a child, and I still have not discovered any tangible clear-cut answers. Perhaps I may not understand completely within this lifetime, but I have gained some insights upon pondering....

Why wasn't I born in Ethiopia, Rwanda, or Cambodia to experience real suffering at the hands of a soulless oppression, only to see myself dying of starvation at the age of eight years old?

Why was I not born in Iraq, Afghanistan or northern Thailand, where I may just have got to observe myself dying as a result of a US tax-paid smart bomb landing on my roof, or crushed by the weight of a neighbours car pummelling me against my living room wall at the age of fifteen?

Why was I not born in Palestine, to be shot in the head by an Israeli Defence Force sniper, on my own rooftop at the age of four?

So it seems that all of us here today, born into the 'Western-Civilised-World', were perhaps born specifically here (and not over there) for one of many different reasons. Perhaps one of those reasons is that some of us have been given a unique opportunity to observe the current pointless, cruel human destruction from more afar than others (at this current point anyway).

Does this idea really sound so strange? If you consider the possibility of Karma and what-goes-around-comes-around, then absolutely 'nothing' happens by accident. Including what country you are born into, what cultures you will interface with, and what experiences, or life 'lessons' you will encounter within that lifetime.

If this possible explanation as to the 'why question' is valid, then we are not special, or chosen, or even lucky as to which country or environment we are born into. Be it Europe, Australia or the USA. We are born where we are for a reason. So what are we currently doing with our time, with our unique opportunity to observe and to learn what is actually happening in our world today?

Maybe we ought to be using our time more wisely, and perhaps we should be using that available time to figure out just what we are here to learn, and experience.

Strange happenings are clearly afoot in the controlling Worlds of Power. I don't think it is a coincidence that all out War is being driven under the banner of many and failed excuses. It is quite obvious this current War On Terror is the number-one concern for the majority of our governments, all the while nature is reminding us once again just how easy it is to lose our heads.

The next time I start complaining over some silly little incident, I will try my best to remember that I don't really have anything valid at all to moan about.


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