Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Perspective

There's nothing worse than....

How many times have I said that? It's such an empty phrase. I've been to Auschwitz. I read the news. There's obviously a lot of things worse than finding a toenail in my lunch or getting to work and wondering if I've locked the door. I know this but I persist in saying it. I guess it's all to do with the way we put everything into its immediate context. What we really mean is that there's nothing more irritating that you can think of pertaining to whatever it is you're doing or thinking about at that very moment. Of course that wouldn't trip so merrily off the tongue. Funny that people don't tend to say that phrase when there really is nothing worse. 'Thank you for coming officer; you know there's nothing worse than finding out your entire family was bludgeoned to death by a mad axeman who then ate their organs and desecrated their bodies in unspeakable ways. And finding out in the middle of Eastenders!"

Sometimes things do take on a bit of perspective. Something on TV will touch me or, like the other day, I will meet people who are trying to make the best of a desperate situation. The humble gene kicks in for a while and I am able to be thankful and appreciative and positive. It also turns me into a royal pain in the arse. I don't actually say it but the phrase roughly the equivalent of 'eat your greens, there are children starving in Africa' weaves itself into the subtext of conversations with people close to me. Fortunately for them it wears off quite quickly. Or maybe not. Maybe the world would be a better place if we could have a broader perspective. Listen to me go on...there's nothing worse than that sort of woolly idealism.

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