Last night I dreamt of going back.
I often dream of going back, but last nights dream was so vivid. I can still see their faces, they haunt me today.
Friends for a long time....sometimes I think I miss them.
I went back with a sledge hammer, my intention to destroy. But as always, once I got in, readily prepared, tooled up to desecrate their home… I couldn’t. They were there; I was not sure what to feel. They didn’t care if I broke up their home, they didn’t mind as I took aim for the gilded mirror above the fireplace, they wanted to blame me for what they had done, and again, I could not resist the self hate and blame.
As time passes and I look back on what has happened, the dreams get mixed up with reality, and I am not sure that I didn’t go back last night. I am not sure that it wasn’t my entire fault.
‘Fault and blame’, someone used to say, ‘are the curse of the working class’. All of their lives are bound up in a them and us, blame, fault and guilt philosophy. Whether it is the schools fault that Johnnie behaves badly in class, politicians fault that the unemployment figures rise, the Councils faults that streets are strewn with litter, anyone else’s fault that their life’s are not more affluent. He asserted that the popular sentiment was that it was always someone else’s fault, and that they never felt responsible for their own life, environment, situation, morals, the consequences of their own choices.
Responsibility is the key I think. We are all responsible for looking after ourselves, and the majority of us are really good at that. But it can come at a cost to the care, welfare and well being of others. David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’, seemed like a good idea, but it is a light touch on what we could really achieve. The idea for the people to run their own libraries, post offices etc. great idea but it was only to cut costs, it is not, as he stated, his great PASSION to create a big society. His great passion seems to be austerity.
This makes me think of compassion. Compassion is an odd one, more complicated than I thought. Compassion is made of empathy, sympathy, kindness, and the big one, strength. I am sure it is more complicated than that, but if we start with those components.
Empathy, the ability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and to feel how they might be feeling. Sympathy, perhaps sympathy is a verbalisation of empathy? Kindness, I guess is to care , to be able to listen and give time, to ourselves and others. And strength… strength is so important. It gives us the resilience to carry on, the robustness to encounter difficulties and (manic defense against chronic dysphoria!) come back at it! If we can feel compassion for ourselves, to ensure that we are alright Jack, then how about compassion and responsibility for others?
It is up to me how I behave and what I do. If I take responsibility for me and the consequences of me and my actions do I have a right to the same from other people, and if so, so do you.
If I am compassionate to you, with all of the elements above, will you show that to me? If I show compassion to myself, will you show compassion to yourself? I think this is the way to a Big Society. Responsibility and Compassion.
So, how does this relate to last nights dream? If they had shown compassion and responsibility, if only to themselves, I don’t think I would dream of self hate, blame and destruction.
If we could all feel compassion for others and take responsiblity for ourselves, what could we all achieve?
ONE HUGE GREAT BIG SOCIETY!Of course, this could all just be self serving rubbish, but it's good to write it down, and hell you don't have to read it!