Is it me? Perhaps its an age thing? It seems like the older I get, the less clear cut everything in life seems to be. When you are young, everything seems black and white, right or wrong, with not much blurring around the edges but later in life, it doesn’t appear to be the same. Maybe as we get older we just become wiser, have more life experience, and are able to see all sides. Or is it just me?
Take Brexit for example. A 52%/48% referendum result is hardly clear cut. And what about world aid? This country gives billions of pounds each year to other countries, and as a comparatively comfortably off country it is absolutely right that we support those less fortunate than ourselves. However, I was listening to a debate the other day where someone was expressing the opposite view, saying that often the ‘powers that be’ in some of these poorer countries are not always as honest as they might be so that the aid doesn’t necessarily reach where it should!
And what about the recent Oxfam saga? Should we give money to such an organisation? Some would say ‘no’ but then, you have to ask, who suffers if we don’t? Surely it is the people who need the support who will lose out. If only there were an easy and clear cut way to sort out which charities are the best, which spend the most money at the ‘coal face’ for example, rather than spending it on unnecessary things. But even then, who decides what is unnecessary?
I read a newspaper article recently that stated that in the area I live, there are 10,000 children living in poverty, and some of those actually live in very affluent parts where houses cost millions of pounds. Having recently visited India, I ask myself, how can that be? Well, in part, it is down to the definition of poverty. You see, in the newspaper article, poverty was defined as those families living on an income which is less than 60% of the average UK income after housing costs. In India, the definition of poverty is those living on less than 10 rupees a day – that is roughly 11p a day in English money – because apparently that buys around 2,200 calories a day which it seems is enough to keep someone alive. So even world poverty is not clear cut!
I wrote a blog post on rickshaw pullers in India recently for my The Dorset Rambler blog (it is here if you would like to read it). Now rickshaw pulling is a pretty degrading occupation and on the face of it, in the enlightened age we live in, it should be banned, which in fact it has been in most countries. However, in places it is still legal and practiced, but should it be? Well, the rickshaw pullers would say, please don’t take away our only way to earn money unless you can provide an alternative. You see, it is not clear cut!
Even in our own lives, it seems there are few things that are straight forward and clear cut. Maybe life would be boring if it was that way. Maybe we just need to accept that not much in life is definite or clearly defined and just embrace that and accept the fact that this is an ever changing world.
As has often been said, as soon as we are born, there is only one thing certain in life, and that is that we are going to die (well bodily at least). The rest is a journey that will have twists and turns, humps and bumps, different scenery along the way, and not much that is certain, as not much in this world is certain or clear.
But, hey, isn’t that the wonder of life. Like the picture above, you can see it as just horribly unclear or you can see beauty in that very blurriness. We just have to look at it differently!
Thanks for stopping by and for reflecting with me.
All pictures and words on this site are copyright Terry Yarrow