Saturday, 21 April 2018

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Monday, 16 April 2018

Contrite



Last Friday, Friday 13th April 2018, I did something that is almost certainly the worst act I have ever done. With all my talk of peace, love and compassion, with all my talk of trying to change the path I had been walking, I sure as hell debunked that theory in one angry moment. There are no excuses, no reasons for the violent act I committed nor any justification for doing it. I was confronted by an angry person whose rage I should have walked away from but didn't. Their being enraged should not be seen as my trying to justify myself for there can be no justification for violence, no justification for my actions. The only time violence can be justified is if it is when faced with a life threating attack. This was not the case.

Again, I am not attempting to free my myself from any blame so when I say I was verbally assaulted that should not deflect any fault whatsoever to the person who I have injured, injured very badly. I should have walked away from the scene as is my normal practice these days. That I didn't makes what followed entirely my responsibility. Rather than walk away with head held high I turned and confronted this individual, confronted them eyeball to eyeball, face to face and so close our noses were almost touching.

What was screamed at me had a ring of truth about it. Certain words, apparently spoken by those close to me and about me, were hurled at me and they stung like the tail of a scorpion. Again, this in no way gives reason to how I reacted but it does, hopefully, paint as honest a picture of how events unfolded. There was much jabbing of fingers at faces, much violent gesticulation and abusive words spoken.

As I said I should have walked away, turned the other cheek, played the part of passivity but I didn't and boy how I regret that now. As the fury of our discourse grew ever more heated so the angrier I grew. Then, as the agitation sparked greater vehemence so I took hold of this person by the shoulders, dragged them to one corner of the room desperate for them to shut up, to be silent, to stop all the vile things they were saying, before pushing them forcefully away.

I had, even then, no intent to hurt them, no desire to cause them pain. I just wanted them away from me, out of my face and silent. I pushed them forcefully but I am not a big man. I weigh between 11 and 12 stone, that is 74 to 75  kilos or about 165 pounds. I am not the Hulk. I am physically unable to toss someone even as light as 8 stone. I pushed them. I pushed them hard. They fell against a wall, stood there briefly before sliding to the floor.

It turns out they had broken their hip. I had broken their hip. There is no other truth, I did it. I didn't mean to but all the same, I did. Shortly after, as they lay on the floor, me not knowing at this point how serious things were, thinking I had made them fall over and nothing more than that, I apologised holding out my hand in an offer to help them up. They refused it screaming more abuse. I offered to call someone suggesting three names who would help. Again, fury and hate were thrown at me. Then, as they calmed a little they said they thought their hip was broken. I didn't believe them. Why? I don't know. I really didn't think my pushing of them had been powerful enough to cause such damage. It had though, it really had. Offering again to help them to their feet ignoring what they had said it became evident, at least to me, they really didn't want me there. I left.  God how I wished I hadn't. How with hindsight I wish I had phoned for an ambulance. What must they think of me? Yes, I left.

Hours later, having completed my school run, I received a call from someone close to both of us telling me an ambulance had been called and that the hip really had been broken, broken so badly that an operation was required. This meant a hip replacement operation which equates to about $42,000 or here in the UK £10,000. I have never felt so sick in all my life. Rightly so I guess for if I was to hear of this incident I would think the assailant should feel sick. 

I frankly felt the worse I have ever felt in my life. I wasn't sorry for myself, nor am I now, but sorry for my actions and oh, so sorry to them who I had so injured. Intent be damned. I did it. I was responsible. There was, in my mind, only one course of action to take. I phoned the police and informed them that I had assaulted someone. This was Friday, Friday the 13th. 

The police questioned the victim in hospital at 3 in the morning. They didn't want to press charges. That, though, doesn't mean the police would let me off the hook. I didn't want to be let off the hook. The reason I contacted them was in my view you can't go around condemning a thing only to condone it when it suits you. Violence is wrong. I was wrong. I wanted someone, a third party, the law to judge me and punish me. This may sound stupid. I don't care. It may sound as though I am trying to present some virtuosity, to regain a smidgeon of integrity or perhaps shift blame but I truly am not. I was wrong.

Finally, I was arrested on Sunday. I was taken to one of those interview rooms. My rights were read to me and recorded as was the whole interview. It was a thoroughly horrible experience. I was close to tears throughout the whole business. Again, I am not trying to show myself in any way as the injured party. I was guilty, guilty and very ashamed -still am.

Today, Monday 16th April 2018 at around 11.30 I received a phone call from an unknown number. It was Southend Police force. No further action was to be taken. I don't think I have ever felt so relieved in my life before. I don't have a police record. The other person though may now walk with a limp. If guilt is as Buddhist suggested a thing all humans share and as such we should forgive ourselves well, sorry, I find that very hard to do at this moment in time.

The whole point of this or rather what I have learned from this sorry episode of my life is that it could so easily have been a case of the person in question cracking their head on the wall and dying. I would now be facing a prison sentence having been convicted of manslaughter.

Violence breeds violence.  I was wrong. Not the other person. I was wrong. It takes courage to walk away, more courage than it does to confront. You can say you were the victim of a violent verbal abuse. That is so much crap. Sticks and stones. You don't have to react. I didn't have to react. I swear I don't ever want a repeat of this ever again.

I have never been arrested before in my life. I have never assaulted anyone before either. I never will again.

I strongly doubt the victim will ever read this but if they do I am sorry with all my heart.

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Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The World's Problem is Us




"The Problems of the world are so colossal, so very complex, that to understand and resolve them one must approach them in a very simple and direct manner; and simplicity, directness, do not depend on outward circumstances nor on our particular prejudices and moods. The Solution is not to be found through conferences, blue-prints, or through the substitution of new leaders for old, and so on. The solution obviously lies in the creator of the problem, in the creator of the mischief, of the hate and of the enormous misunderstanding that exists between human beings. The creator of this mischief, the creator of these problems, is the individual, you and I, not the world as we think of it.  The world is your relationship with another. The world is not something separate from you and me; the world, society, is the relationship that we establish or seek to establish between each other.

"So you and I are the problem."

The above is taken from Jiddu Krishnamurti's 1954 publication "The First and Last Freedom." There is nothing particularly radical or revolutionary about this paragraph for it contains only pure logic. In the book, Krishnamurti posits that the only way to make a change to the world we live in is by accepting we are the world so therefore if we want to change it we must first change ourselves. To change ourselves we need to be aware of ourselves, not to attempt to be virtuous for there is nothing honest or sincere in that nor should we seek to have moral guidance from a leader; a priest; a rabbi; a mullah etc, but being truthful about oneself. Only by true self-awareness, by understanding the truth about our self can we, when faced with the sometimes shocking reality, be able to transform. Here we are some sixty-four years on and the issue remains. 'We' are seemingly incapable of taking responsibility for ourselves.

The answer people will give having stated forcefully that what I am saying is rubbish, is we are responsible for ourselves. We vote, we follow the rules of the laws we have democratically chosen. Don't we? Do we? Really? What about those who dislike paying tax, any tax and then avoid paying taxes by playing the black market, by accepting cash only. That act is undemocratic, isn't it? The vast majority have agreed that the paying of taxes is right. A significant number don't agree but they were part of a representational democracy and therefore have agreed to abide by it. This is not free thinking, this is not the individual practising independent thought, these are people who are taking from their respective communities, from the Welfare State, from the NHS, from their neighbours, from their fellow man. That is not democracy, it is not anarchy, it is self-centred robbery. These self-same people who flout the system they fondly use when it suits them; when it comes to passing the blame forever seek the 'other', the 'immigrant', the left or the right, or somebody, anybody apart from themselves to blame. 



How much longer will it be for those who have, for as long as we have had the vote, seek to find leaders to lead them? They hop from one leader to another, electing those they feel will give them the strength they so singularly lack taking them to a golden dawn, a dawn that never breaks. Elections come and elections go with the vast many of the electorate switching sides like balls in a tennis match. Left, right, centre, left, right, centre. All these isms, all these preposterous labels and yet not one stays the course. Communism, Capitalism, Socialism, ism, ism, ism.

I have only one thing I believe in and it is not deities, not leaders, not organised religion for anything organised means having those that need organising. To organise a thing, be it sheep or people means controlling them. To control means those that control rule us like some Orwellian Big Brother. Yet, when we are responsible for ourselves that negates the need for controllers be they political or religious. The one thing I have a belief in is democracy. Unlike Socrates I think it can work, however, as much as it saddens me, I have to, in this instant and on this one issue, agree with Socrates.



"assigning a 'kind of' equality indiscriminately to equals and unequals alike." What does the old Greek mean? Aren't we all born as equals? Should we not treat every human being as an equal? Yes, we should but humankind makes and breaks laws that have little to do with gods or nature. For example, not all who are born are given, as is their right, a full and proper education. Without education, humankind is unread, uneducated, therefore ill-informed, judgemental and opinionated. They fear all and anything that a lack of education would give them the ability to debate. This means they really don't so much as understand what democracy offers but abuse it.

For me, democracy, true democracy, is a far better way of doing things than the representational variety which allows for demagogues to hijack popular phobias for their own ends.  Before we can trust the masses, that is folks like me, to be totally responsible for themselves we would have to ensure that every last man Jack of us had an equally good education. Only then could humankind begin to trust itself rather than trust those whose efforts at governing are at best inadequate and at worse self-serving. As it stands we now have, in many cases, people who refuse to debate politics or even abdicate the responsibility to vote. This is highly dangerous for by not voting you give up your voice in a democratic debate but also allow those who would govern with an iron hand the opportunity to gain power by default.



Anarchism appeals to be. The concept of humankind running itself with little or no need for intermediates or governments has massive appeal but first, we have to equalise a very unequal society. Education is one way. True democracy another.

The other issue that rides swiftly into mind when pondering how humankind avoids taking responsibility for itself is religion. That is organised religion. Does religion need organising? Do the religious need organising? Or is the organisers who need organising? Religion or faith doesn't need regulating, does it? It is deeply personal. Faith can be shared but remains within the mind of the one who follows their personal faith. Religion touches many minds but the minds themselves may have different methods and ways of adhering to any given deity. Take Monotheism for example, how many fractions are within this large group? Jews, Christians, Muslims and Sihks. From those four alone we then have a multitude of smaller groupings all with their own particular way of worshipping the God they follow. Organisers don't need regulating although that is what organised religion aims to do, regulate and rule those who subscribe to its dogma. No, the organisers need dismissing. You do not need a hierarchy to follow God. There is God and there is you. Go direct.

Of course, going direct would mean being responsible for ourselves for it implies no longer needing officials or intermediaries interpreting God's word then dictating their interpretation to a congregation of like-minded individuals. Having faith is fine as long as the faith you have hasn't been kidnapped by a set of 'middle-men' telling you what to believe or how to believe before telling you God wouldn't do that. Only you know what God would or wouldn't do. Anyone standing between you and your God has the capability of misrepresenting a religion, a faith only so they might control your actions. If anyone suggests God advocates violence rather than love is frankly talking out of their arse. Don't trust them. Do not do as instructed. Never kill on command.



When we become responsible for ourselves, really, truly responsible then politics will not require leaders just administrators and religions won't need priest or popes, or ayatollahs nor will it need to be organised. Being responsible for ourselves grants us the greatest of freedoms for by being totally responsible we are our own leaders.





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Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.

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A Utility Fish Shed Blog

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