Tag Archives: greed

Where Druidry begins

I’d like to point you at a small film on youtube it’s the first ‘Calm’ film in this list, which for reasons I cannot fathom, I can’t get a url for.

It’s a beautiful video. If you can’t watch, the audio is still well worth your time, and apologies to anyone whose internet does not allow. The urge towards peace and stillness is a big part of what brings many of us to Druidry. Awareness of the enormity of nature can help us not be overwhelmed by the frantic elements of our own lives.

What this film misses, is the way in which our collective anxiety and panic is not essential. It need not be like this. We’re forced to run ever faster, haunted by economic pressures in a system that demands we do more for less, and pay more for less, as though this could continue forever. But why? Because fear makes us willing to seek comfort in consumption. Panicked running means we have no time to stop and think. That in turn means we don’t question, and we don’t resist. Like the eternal child, I keep asking, but why? Why is this happening?

Because greed is a sickness. Greed to own more than can possibly be used. It’s sane and reasonable to want sufficiency. It’s fine to want a bit more, a bit of a safety net, a rainy day fund, but a small percentage of humans accumulate as an obsession. It gives them the power to influence the rest of us, and they do so in ways designed to keep us building their piles of gold. It is madness. It is unsustainable, illogical, destructive madness and we are all paying for the money-sick in our culture.

It is very hard to step away from this, to unpick the many sticky threads trapping you in this system. Odds are, you won’t. But the call to calm, to quiet, to wide open places and perspective helps. Druidry is the call to reason, sanity, hope and healing. With calm, we can see through the lies of growth and progress every time we get caught up in them again.

I firmly believe that we still have time to change things, that we are not inevitably doomed as a species by the madness we have created. The more of us are able to find some calm space, wake from the nightmare and get modern life into a healthy perspective, the better a chance we have.


To those who will inherit the earth

I had one of those parent jobs this morning, the sort that you know is coming, but dread. There are so many things in this world that it is horrible to have to explain to a child. However, I don’t believe on fobbing them off with half-truths. Once a person is able to ask a question, they need to hear an answer. This morning it became necessary to point out that the world is not an inherently fair or just place, and that the people, bodies, institutions we should be able to rely on to treat us fairly, are not always reliable. It didn’t come as a shock to the lad, I think I was confirming what he’d already suspected, but it’s better to talk about these things.

So we talked about institutionalised racism, which he thinks is crazy because people are people and judging them on skin colour is stupid. Allow me a moment of happy pride over this. We talked about the history of laws, and where they come from. Because go back a few hundred years and in most of Europe, there wasn’t much legal protection for poor people against rich ones. The UK was better than average. We talked about the way in which the crimes of poor people still seem to be taken more seriously than the sneakier financial and environmental crimes of the wealthy. We didn’t get round to huge corporate tax dodgers, but we could have done. We talked about libel laws, and how your likelihood of being taken seriously depends on how rich and famous you are. To be poor and maligned is still to be maligned. It is a life no less damaged.

There are a frightening number of things around us that I can point to, to illustrate institutionalised stupidity and unfairness. Of course he needs to know, this is the world he is poised to inherit, the one he’s going to need to survive in. The odds are increasingly stacked against the poor. The desire of consumerism still gets priority over the needs of the environment.

What I feel is overwhelming shame. This is the world I get to pass on to my son. Ugly with corruption, cruelty, and systems that cannot be trusted to deliver fairness. And ok, most of this I have not created, or planned or supported in any way, but how much time have I spent trying to make it better? Not nearly enough. Every day there is something in the news where the short-sightedness, the inhumanity, the greed and horror of human choices shocks me. And no doubt my child too, because he’s listening. A bus full of people who, between them, didn’t have twenty pence to save a girl from a ten mile walk at three in the morning. She was attacked as a consequence, by a guy high on cocaine. The small evils we commit against each other on a daily basis go to make up such wrongs.

The latest one to be grating on my nerves is this: Plans that mothers who defy court orders over access to their children, be punished by having their passports taken away. On the grounds that it’s not fair to the child to be denied access to a parent. If a guy doesn’t want to have anything to do with his children, he’ll still have to contribute financially, but he can walk away. Never see them. There are no suggested sanctions to make reluctant fathers see their kids. It’s not a gender thing. Reverse who has the kids and it still holds up. We collectively abuse the parent who undertakes to do the parenting, and let the one who is disinterested do as they please. That’s no kind of fairness or justice.

The temptation is to keep my head down and not fight the many wrongs that I run into. The fear that I live with is that by protesting, I will draw adverse attention. What, after all, is to stop any of these systems from crushing me? If I call a government body out over unjust behaviour, what is to save me from unjust treatment at their hands? And yet, to stay silent, to refuse to notice, to keep my head down, is to tacitly support any wrong I turn a blind eye to. We have a conspiracy of silence. All of us. For the sake of a quiet life, an easy life. We don’t complain, we don’t draw attention to ourselves, we don’t invite the unfairness we know perfectly well is out there, to come round and pick on us for a change.

Dear children, this is the world we have contrived to make for you. We are poisoning it, and many of its structures are corrupt. Close your eyes and ears, pretend it’s all shiny and happy. Don’t look at anything that hurts. Play this game instead. Watch another TV program. When you get older, you can use alcohol to blot it all out.

And they all lived happily ever after.