Saturday, 12 March 2011

Count your blessings

Partly because I've been fortunate enough to be spending a pleasant week in Galicia, getting drunk a lot and eating way too much extremely high quality grub, I've not really felt like saying too much about what's been going on in what feels like a tormented world at the moment. It has, frankly, been easy to feel extremely detached from it.

But those of us who are detached from the daily realities of such torment should not forget how good we have it. It's bad enough seeing the natural disasters in New Zealand and now, even worse in magnitude and destructive power, in Japan. But now the feared civil war in Libya is made real, there's developing violence in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, and who knows what else yet to come in the Arab world. None of this is likely to happen in Britain on any even vaguely comparable scale.

It's all made me think how fortunate not just I am, but all of us are who live in a stable, tolerant country, in which we're free to criticise the politicians who may be deceitful, grasping, insincere careerists, but are not Gadaffi. Where the problems which face us as a country at the moment, hoever acute they may feel to us, are largely of a financial nature. We are not seeing our society rocked by State-sponsored violence and murder, nor are we having to watch distressing pictures of entire cities laid waste by nature's indifferent killing power, or wait for news of hundreds of deaths to take shape from patchy details in the wake of an earthquake or some such.

I'm flying back home to London tomorrow, from one stable and still comparatively wealthy country to another. To see friends and family I count myself privileged to know, to return to a job I feel fortunate to have, and to a roof I'm grateful to have over my head. Watching the suffering of those in other parts of the world at the moment, I can't quite believe how lucky I am. Think on it.

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