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Monday, 10 May 2010

The birth pains of a new era

You would have to have been living on another planet or in some uninhabited territory not to know that last week Britain went to the polls, the result of which was as highly predicted, a Hung Parliament.

There seems to be an enormous amount of fear around regarding the result of this election, but I am sitting and remaining detached from it all. I personally think that it was the best thing that could have happened, for it is forcing our leaders for the first time to be honest with each other and to work together, which is something we should all do. The inner reflects the outer, and so we get the Government that reflects our society. Before we start critisicing the politicians perhaps we should look in the mirror and remember that change starts from within us. If we really want change then we have first to change ourselves and the way in which we act and view the world.

The winner will ultimately be the one who shows the most integrity, and it will become more apparent in the coming months as to where their integrity lies. The results are a reflection of where we are at as a country, that so many could not make up their minds - I would not be surprised to find that in the coming months more irregularities and more corruption come to the surface as the parties are forced to communicate both with each other and with us, forcing the transparency in politics that is so desperately needed, and in the end also forcing change, most of all in the voting system itself. Change which will result in greater fairness and accountability all round. Politicians (especially the main two parties) are notoriously resistant to change, and with good reason, for they think they have an awful lot to lose. Like everything else though, it is all illusion, for none of this is real.

Whichever way it goes it will be the right decision. I say this in the knowledge that there is no such thing as a mistake - only choices, and whether or not we regret the choice we made it is pointless anyway. We have to live with that choice once it is made and run with it. The same is also true of our vote - I cannot understand why anyone would think their vote has been wasted just because the result was not what they wanted - every vote makes a difference, how can it not?

It is easy to think that this is a dreadful state of affairs and to get caught up in the drama of it all, but there is little to be accomplished by this view and it is not how I choose to view the world, living constantly in fear. These are exciitng times, filled with hope and filled with change, we are witnessing history unfolding here and the birth pains of a new way of being. This is not then a dreadful state of affairs as so many have said, but an opportunity to find out who we are both collectivity and as indviduals and to put that into action. It is what we are here to do.

If we truly seek change then that change has to start with us. The trouble is that many may say they want change, but when it comes down to it, they really don't, as the transitional period is too uncomfortable for them. Change doesn't after all happen overnight and the adjustment period can be quite difficult and painful. Yet change is the only constant force in the universe, more powerful even than love. It cannot be stopped or held back, to do so would only hinder the process of evolution. It is far easier to just accept the situation for what it is and take another tip from the Icelandic volcano - go with the flow ! It is ultimately far less painful for all involved.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

a memo (and a message) from the boss

I have been off work for the past few days with a nasty tummy bug that began last Thursday with minor back ache and rapidly worked round to the front, with at times quite severe cramps and constipation. Having seen various doctors at both the local surgery and the nearest Casualty unit, the consensus seems to be that I have picked something up at work - it only takes one incident of forgetting to wash your hands, which when you are busy is very easy to do. From now on though I will be taking much more care. The worst of the cramps seems to be over, and all being well, I should be able to return to work on Tuesday.

As always though, there may be more to this than meets the eye. A few weeks ago, the Director of the home sent a memo round to all the housekeepers stating words to the effect that the standard of cleanliness had dropped, and that since this was the second time he had brought it to our attention, the message had obviously not got through. If things continued in this way, and a third memo was sent, he would take (and this is his exact words) "appropriate action". As a former Director of one of the UK's largest banks, and no doubt enconsed in a large house somewhere in the subburbs with the proceeds of his bonusses, he has very little idea of what it means to be an ordinary working person and is clearly lacking in social graces. As I pointed out to one of my colleagues, he certainly has a way with words.

To be honest though, after the way in which I and the other housekeepers worked, especially during the 10 weeks that my colleague was off sick with a slipped disc (I did at one point more than twice my normal hours), this felt like a kick in the guts - and what do I get ? Stomach cramps that prevent me from working ! Of course, as Coran also pointed out, there may be another second way of looking at this too -the standards of cleanliness in the home itself may not have dropped (not from where I am standing anyway), but the fact that I got this bug means that maybe my own standards with regard to personal cleanliness have. Most bugs of this nature cna be prevented by simple hand washing, which I have to admit I have been a bit lax with of late. From now on I will be making much more of an effort to wash my hands more regularly, especially after cleaning the toilets !