Saturday, July 2, 2016

Another Tiny Tool For World Peace??

As my heart goes out to Istanbul (an incredibly open and friendly city, my most favourite international city) and the airport attack, I sit here reading a novel by Dick Francis.  A crime thriller, intended to entertain every inch of the way.  No highbrow philosophy.  I always read Dick Francis when thinking of difficult moments.  Why??? I am not sure.  Partly because it is British writing (without too much angst or excessive sex angles as some modern writing has become) at its best - describing the outdoors, the magnificent world of horses and the British sporting spirit, combined with amateur (and occasionally professional) sleuthing.  The books are intelligently plotted and well written, but what makes them stand out for me are the very perceptive descriptions of people and what drives them, and in particular, reminders about the danger of rage and the futility of hate.

A good place to begin perhaps is his 'Kit Fielding' series - two books (Break In and Bolt, starring the champion jockey Kit Fielding, who rides for amongst others, a princess, who is always referred to as "The Princess").  I quote from "Break In" (a book based on family feuds) -

"...We finished the elementary alarm system and went yawning indoors to sleep for another couple of hours, and I reflected, as I lay down, about the way a feud could start, as with Graves, and continue through centuries, as with Allardecks and Fieldings, and could expand into politics and religious persecutions on a national scale, permanently persisting as a habit of mind, a destructive hatred stuck in one groove.  I would make a start in my own small corner, I thought sardonically, drifting off, and force my subconscious to love the Allardecks, of which my own sister, God help her, was one..."

Perhaps a bit perplexing if suddenly thrust into a blog, but this passage showed me how easy it was to begin a quarrel and then to continue it endlessly; how much easier than changing one's mind or forgiving or at least forgetting.  So I have decided to begin in my own small corner, to try and forget petty irritations that once arose and that keep niggling me the moment I choose to reopen those memories.  To relinquish (or, let's be realistic - restrain!!) my judgement on things I don't know enough about (like world peace??!).

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