Sunday, 2 November 2008

We need a new vision to live by...

Many thanks to Nicholas Janni at Olivier Mythodrama for sending me the following article from the Times this week by Ben Okri:

Our false oracles have failed. We need a new vision to live by.

So many people are now saying the same things.

"Success justifies greed and greed justifies indifference to fellow human beings."

Seems to me we need a new definition of 'success'.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

There ought to be great cries in the land, great anger. But there is a strange silence. Why? Because we are all implicated. We have drifted to this dark unacceptable place together."

Exactly what I have been saying on this blog to much derision. We must all share the blame. Denial will prevent any meaningful change.

However, lets not also forget perspective. It is never good to make important decisions from a skewed perspective and this crisis creates such a lens.

People are fearful and angry. Never great emotions to make a meaningful contribution to the good of society.

C

Stephen said...

Ben Okri wrote
There ought to be great cries in the land, great anger. But there is a strange silence. Why? Because we are all implicated.

What utter tosh....
I tell you why ordinary people are not screaming and shouting in the streets. It is because they don't understand what just happen to them. I do not know who these people who write for the Times mix with but most of the people i know, are NOT greedy people. I suspect the author is addressing the people he is acquainted with as opposed to the general public as a whole.

So yea, is non-greed really a new vision to live by? Doesn't seem very new to me. I suspect this type of thinking to be part of the overall strategy to dissapate the guilt and shame for financial mismanagement away from the real source.

Having said that i did have a heated conversation with someone who used to be a staunch socialist.
Since he came into money he now thinks this crises was caused by greed in the ordinary man. It cannot be the system he says.... Thats just there to serve them.

Success is a phony concept. You still got to die in the ground. You might as well tell the truth in the meantime. You might as well try and touch peoples hearts. You beautiful creature you.

Stephen said...

ps. I must repeat again.

The financial predicament is absolutely nothing to do with greed in the ordinary man.

The ordinary man has been a target of the predatory financial systems for many, many years now. The ordinary man has no power to affect the system. All the ordinary man does is to react to the whims of the system.

You can call the ordinary man lazy/uneducated, but they certainly have no ability to influence the current financial status quo.

Any suggestion as such is just convenient for the powers that be.

It is for the markets, regulators and government to bear the blame.

Do not seek to shame the ordinary man, for this will be a further criminal act.

Anonymous said...

Ok so the 'ordinary man' is blameless. I feel so much better now knowing that I share no responsibility.

But hang on, I am responsible because I benefitted from the system (as did everyone else), I had an opportunity to oppose it in the good times (funny how quiet that opposition was) and I had an ability to change the legislature through my vote.

I'm no Christian but I think their ethos about 'casting the first stone' and confession being instrumental to redemption is pretty much spot on here.

C

Rachel Elnaugh said...

Fear, anger, blame. All negative vibrations I am afraid.

If we want things to change we need to focus on a vision of the future which is about joy and empowerment, and move forwards towards it with hope and optimism.

Ben Okri's comments are exactly aligned to mine at the House of Commons event the other day. It's not enough just to re-design the 'financial architecture', we need to change the basis on which we value everything.

Money cannot be our only measure.

R

PS If he thinks there is a 'strange silence' he obviously hasn't read my Blog !!!

Anonymous said...

Rachel

For once I agree with you but I think people need to recognise the need for change within themselves first.

C

Stephen said...

In order for change to be effective and sustainable it must be approached by asking the right questions.

We will never reach a state of harmony if people ask the wrong questions.

Effective due diligence will not be accomplished by putting the blame at the door of those who are not responsible.

Unfortunately i suspect the very people who are involved with forging a way forward will be the very people who got us into this predicament in the first place.

Perhaps they need to reconcile their own desires first, before speaking for the rest of us.

Stephen said...

Ps. you are right about people speaking out Rachel. Ben Okri should visit some of the forums i go on.

I guess their views don't make the BBC - that's why no one appears to hear their cries.

Rachel Elnaugh said...

C

That's exactly what I am saying - each person works to raise their individual vibration - collectively that energy has the power to transform.

The people who are helping this process are the 'lightworkers' - who are working below the media radar - quietly, relentlessly, helping people 'switch the light on'.

Soon we will reach a tipping point.

R

Stephen said...

Well i must be surrounded by people with very low vibrations Rachel, including myself.

I'd really like to believe that a tipping point is near.

All i currently see are people wandering around like zombies, playing on computers, watching TV, racing around supermarkets and that kind of thing.

I don't know how we could ever help raise their level of consciousness, when they are pretty much in a trance.

Still, i am open minded enough to consider a tipping point is possible.

Just seems an awful long way away.

Anonymous said...

We've seen such viral social phenomenon before. Look at the various peaceful revolutions that changed the systems in the East. Sadly I bet they are ruing the day now though.

The irony I think is that the vision you seek is easier to achieve in the 'good' times than the bad. It's easier to truly convince someone to give something up when they have it than when it has already been taken from them.

Maybe I am lucky but I am always amazed at the positive energy in the people I meet. If this was collectively focussed great things could happen.

C

Stephen said...

C said.....
It's easier to truly convince someone to give something up when they have it than when it has already been taken from them.

What are you talking about....give something up???

What people want to give up is the deceipt and incompetance of a few.

That will be no loss!!

What people want is to live in peace and harmony. They want the basics of life.

It may be that you are talking about people who live in a material world - and who have now got to forgo their 3rd holiday to barbados every year. I know some of these people (bloody estate agents). Well my heart bleeds.

Not everybody made their money from some middle class upbringing.
You don't have to have a snobby attitude to be wealthy.

You want to wander around some of the many poorer areas of this country C and then consider how many of these people really have had it so good over the past 10 years. Your flippant comments about people using their vote and not complaining in the good times (meaning middle class good times presumably) is an afront to ordinary people in this country.

I don't think you understand that in order to put things right, it is not the working classes that need to be impoverished.

It is the middle and upper classes that should taste the error of their ways. So stop dishing it down. There is no power down there. You need to be facing in the right direction if you want to help put things right.

Anonymous said...

Stephen

You are angry but I suspect its root lies in an injustice done to you rather than an injustice (there have been many) done to the 'ordinary' man as you put it. Championing a cause gives you a channel for that anger but ultimately does not address your issue.

You are a good guy at heart and I really hope you find some happiness in your life. Arguing this cause, however just, won't bring it though. Let the anger go and the world will seem a much brigher place.

C

Stephen said...

You are right C.

I am extremely angry. But i hold in my mind all the injustices i have seen around me for many years. I hold in my mind the paradox of the shape-shifting powers of the incompetent and downright deceitful.

I have had my life. The bullring lost its appeal sometime ago. But there are new people coming through who must be protected.

How can there be any peace, when all the world must cry?

Stephen said...

Here is a possible solution to take to Westminster Rachel.

There are so many people out there at home on incapacity benefit who could still work.

I don't understand why the government doesn't give them work to do at home. If they can bail out the banks, surely they can spend a few billion of paying folks to work from home.

That would be the most constructive thing that the government could do for a very long time and it would take hundreds of thousands of people out of the benefits trap.

I have written to my MP Michael Howard about this but he has simply ignored me.

Anonymous said...

Stephen, write to him again and again and again and again, and email him again and again and again, and again, and again.

Stephen said...

email sent to Michael Howard:

Dear Mr Howard,

Here is a possible solution to take to Westminster. I have also invited Dragons Den Entrepreneur Rachel Elnaugh to do so.

There are so many people out there at home on incapacity benefit who could still work.

I don't understand why the government doesn't give them work to do at home. If they can bail out the banks, surely they can spend a few billion of paying folks to work from home.

That would be the most constructive thing that the government could do for a very long time and it would take hundreds of thousands of people out of the benefits trap.

I would like to start such an initiative up here in Hythe (i am an agoraphobic and cannot currently travel), but my credentials will show that i know how to make people money on the Internet. There will be a healthy return on investment and the establishment of a new approach to disability at work in this country.

Can you please reply and perhaps meet me when you have time.

Thank You
Stephen Ryan
01303-265318

Anonymous said...

"I have had my life."

If that were true then I'd miss your blog posts. We may not agree on much but I respect your opinions.

Anyway, whose to say that the best parts of your life are not somewhere lurking in the future? As you don't believe in fatalism, you'll know that its your choice whether or not to seize the moment. Whatever you decide I'll continue to look forward to your posts.

C

Rachel Elnaugh said...

Stephen

I agree with C, my Blog would be a very lonely place without your fabulous contributions.

Thanks for making it such an interesting read; I look forward to your comments every time I log on.

Rachel

Stephen said...

Thank you C and Rachel.

Bit choked this end now.

Well i will continue to try my best.

cheers,

TheDLOG said...

Stephen, you don't have to 'try' as you say. You are a natural at what you say, passionate and sincere.

Keep in their mate.

Speak/meet soon

DLOG

Stephen said...

Thanks for your kind words DLOG.

I look forward to meeting you again in the near future.

best,

Stephen

TheDLOG said...

Stephen, likewise, I wonder if we could entice C to a meeting?

DLOG

Bradley Chapman said...

The glass is half full! Always will be in my book but yes of course there are times when we need to find the strength to continue our journey! Ive had my fair share of that....

One thing that has always remained in my mind is that somehow just somehow i know i will always be alright.

Through challenge and continued adversity I seem to be focused on my business but actually success to me is a place i will get to when i look back and say "I'm happy with that, i have achieved what i set out to do".

Success for me is inner peace and calm in my mind, body,heart and soul.

Success for me is being able to say that i lived, i impacted peoples lives and i helped them.

Money, well if it comes it comes! i will always have an ability to earn money but that's not enough for me.

Success - a place where I reach inner peace from having given without asking for anything in return.

Yep sounds good to me

Regards Bradley

TheDLOG said...

Bradley, what a wonderful philosophy, I totally agree.

I myself are now on the brink of attaining that inner peace you speak of, I hope it is not to far away!!
It is so nice when one can help others with out expecting something in return.

God Bless ALL

DLOG

David Wreathall said...

Sorry to be a bit late catching up with all this. I agree with Rachel's views.

How did we get to the point where a young person's role model (and definition of success) is likely to be a product of reality TV, with a bling lifestyle and no recognisable talent or contribution to society?

I recently read Charles Handy's book "The Hungry Spirit" where he argues that capitalism has so many stengths that it must be part of the answer, but it's not the complete answer.

Can we have one definition of "success"? In our new course for teenagers, we're trying to encourage participants to challenge society's definition and find their own, by working out what's really important to them.

Money is important. It buys choices and freedom. But it's only a means to an end.

David