I see I last posted in October. Hmm. And now it’s the last day of the year.
It’s been a year of challenges for me; some good, some less so; but they will all make it a year that stands out in the fog of my life.
I’ve been dwelling on humanity and its extremes. I visited a relative with Alzheimer’s this week. There he lay, as he has for the past four years, unable to communicate, helpless as an infant; yet he is cared for, fed, washed and shaved, spoken to every day, kept alive, really, and with dignity, by the people who look after him.
Hard to believe that in the same species there are those who will storm into a school and kill children. Children.
This morning, I saw it again. On the BBC news app there are two headlines next to each other:
“Children ‘groomed in every town'” reads the first. Sadly, that speaks for itself.
“MBE for volunteer maths teacher” reads the second. This refers to Gbolahan Bright, a teacher for 36 years who runs free after school maths clubs. “We view every child as gifted. It is our job to motivate them,” he says. “It is beyond mathematics. The aim is to bring the best out of each child. It gives us joy.”
There it is again; one end of the human spectrum abusing vulnerable people, turning them into victims; Mr Bright at the other end, helping them to become heroes.
I’ve got my usual New Year’s resolutions, I suppose, but I want next year to be less about giving up things, less about hanging around in the middle of the spectrum of humanity through idleness, and more about doing something positive and in whatever small way I can being on the same side as the people making the world better.