Amfortas brought up the question of looking after one’s car engine and servicing regularly – otherwise the cost comes back to bite you later.
Reminded me of Russia where if you didn’t, if you’d failed to have the oils flushed out on time, change filters, have the injector serviced, you’d pay for that the next winter. The insides of an experienced Russian’s car are always squeaky clean. It’s also full of spares in the boot [trunk].
One winter issue was starting the engine – local wisdom said you didn’t use jumper leads under minus 20 [and also said the 8 valves were better in winter than the 16s]. However, that didn’t stop the unprepared and feckless coming up and asking you to help start their cars.
For most readers, this is not even an issue – you politely decline. However, there are two aspects of declining – one is that you’re foreign and he’s local, with mates who can make life difficult, plus he has mates in the control tower who’ll be with your car overnight and will deny all knowledge next morning; and two is that both the good book and common sense dictate that if you’re of a charitable disposition, that comes back to help you later.
Again,the solution suggests itself – find the Russian language for: “I’d gladly help but in winter, jumper leads wreck the engine of the one giving the power.”
Being of a charitable disposition in Russia is like being little Hans in that story by Wilde – it’s not so much the being put upon but the continually being put upon with false motives which is the issue. It’s seen as weakness or softness to be charitable to everyone – you do that with family and close friends to an extent.
There’s a bit of Timon of Athens in this too.
That’s not precisely what Cherie and JD were on about when they said we should worry less, care less and think positive. I’d agree that overworrying and over-finessing is bad for the health but there’s also value in thinking things through ahead of time and avoiding most pitfalls. I took ages to think through details of my project and am now glad I did – the final design saved thousands and is safer.
But we’ve seen the excessive nannying in this society where everything and anything could be a danger, so we ban it, just in case. I’d humbly suggest that that is different to being prepared in the first place, being accurate in what you can and can’t do.
And excessive nannying and over-charitableness is almost an affectation, a sickness which, when it involves coercion of others, makes the society stagnate. Safety-first mentality was commented on by Christie:
Every one made such a fuss over things nowadays! They wanted injections before they had teeth pulled – they took drugs if they couldn’t sleep – they wanted easy chairs and cushions and the girls allowed their figures to slop about anyhow and lay about half naked on the beaches in summer.
- from “10 Little Niggers”, 1939
There were a few value judgments in there; it also showed nothing has changed.
Charity-lite or applied charity in certain situations but not in others, needs to be combined with do-gooder-lite where there are limits to what should be forced on others in the name of wrongly defined and applied feelgood buzz words.
There’s also the very idea of pure and applied – it’s in maths and physics and it’s also in psychology. Fine to have positive thoughts and “everyday, in every way, I’m getting better and better” but I’d suggest that that’s introspection and in its excessive form – narcissism. My view is that if we can things workable in society first, then that will flow through to you as an individual as positive vibes anyway.
A fully-employed nation with low taxes is a freer and easier nation, more robust too than one depending on State charity and having to resort to individual psychological plans in order to cope. Strike at the root cause rather than the symptoms and the symptoms go away of their own volition.
Whenever anyone comes out with homilies or general rules, my first thought [and obviously Dearieme's] is how that would apply in real life – also to our society at this time and in which form.
Which is the essential flaw in almost all ideologies – fine to have notions of how things should be and even rules of thumb but we are here now and want to be there – how do we actually get there? What steps can the society practically take, in the light of how it’s been done throughout history?
Certainly not the way the left ideologues are going about it – you can see the pain out there in society from their lack of thinking things through and when Them use that oversimplification to conceal their agenda, the result is toxic to the average person.
You remember the WW1 tale of the conscientious objector being asked: “If a German was raping your sister, what would you do?”
“I’d step between them.”
Perfect example of a general principle [pure] but in an applied situation, you’d never get away with that as the German would shoot you and continue to rape her. Therefore a different solution is needed.
Today, we should immediately cease aid to foreign countries which are doing very well, thank you and plough that money into our defences which I have a feeling we’re going to need in the near future again – 1914, 1939 and what – 2015?
But first the MoD needs clearing out so rational decisions can be made.
How to do that?