The European crisis – where are we in all of this?


A friend writes to us: “Nice to have you back in the country. It was great to follow you through Europe, and now to see you back in the Cape. Thanks for blogging us about the small things and take away a bit of the scary big ones world wide.”
What are those scary big ones world wide?
The poaching of Rhino horns? 1 kg of Rhino horn sells for up to 100.000 US Dollars in the East. That is scary.
The disappearance of a stack of portable ground-to-air missiles from Gaddafi’s compound?
That too is scary.
But what he really wants to say is: world-wide we are running out of credit.
Worldwide we are consuming more than we have in the bank.
And the banks are running out of collateral.
And the states will eventually not be able to honour their long-term debentures.
That is scary.
What does it all mean?
What are we to make of this?
Will it affect us, you and me?
It all depends. Look around you at what you have.
We might have to give up things we used to take for granted.
We might have to go back to the so-called drawing board and start generating ideas. Access the powers of the mind.
Drive ourselves instead of being driven – in a metaphorical as much as a literal sense.
Imagine a world different from what it appears to be now.
Look at all our dependencies.
Try to imagine how to reduce their number.
Reducing too the number of threats we are told to be concerned with.
Forget about the environment.
Forget about Green.
The destruction of the rain forest.
Forget about the poaching of abalone on the Cape Coast.
Let them rape the coast.
Let them eradicate abalone.
Let them eradicate Rhinos. We can easily live without them.
Their loss means nothing in comparison to what might come our way.
What, what – I hear you say.
Don’t panic.

"Louis" - a wild and solitary chacma baboon roaming in our area making use of resources at his disposal. Never aggressive, eventually, being found poisoned by humans ... you see, there is a process you cannot halt ... Louis' death in Betty's Bay, the massacres of Sarajewo, Burundi, Katyn in Poland, the Spanish in the Americas, the slaughter of the population of Merv in Persia by the Mongols (over a million) ... shall we go on? No, of course not. It's enough and good or not so good. Life will go on. We do need to remember though. Nothing ever will remain the same.

Turn away from all the hullaballoo the media are constantly regurgitating.
There is a dependency you do not want to be part of.
Look into your own backyard.
Start living sensibly.
Be good in your own small way.
Look at what you eat.
Look at dependencies there.
Cut them out.
And more of it.
You begin to see the picture I am painting.
Nothing scary.
Let it all go past you, in a Tai Chi way – take a step back, hold it and then: by gently repulsing you are deflecting it, letting it pass.
That’s more or less the idea of confronting the European crisis: not much of a help, is it.
Well, let’s put it this way: be prepared instead of being scared.
Life on earth will go on. As before. There is no end in site.
Our local padre had a nice way of putting it to his congregation: bet with me that the world will not end on the 12 of December 2012: if it does not end, you will take me to the Spur (a local chain of restaurants) the next day; if it does, I will take you.

Lovely to see. So lovely to share the environment with her - but, in the end, we might not be able to procure the funds to keep up this dependency. A great sadness. It is a privilege we hold for a time. And privileges are sure to cease.

Cheers for now. With more encouraging thoughts next time.


And with love as always
Colleen & Walter
Betty’s Bay, Thursday Nov 17, 2011

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