This is in response to the Let’s Blog Off question ‘Is there a reason to be optimistic?’ A list of fellow bloggers addressing the same question appears at the end of the blog. We’ll update it throughout the day as more declare themselves.
I make no apologies at all for pinching the title of the late great Ian Dury’s updated version of the Julie Andrews’s “These are a few of my favourite things”.
There’s been some horrible and tragic things that we’ve done to ourselves in living memory. Wars, global warming, man made disasters. But look back a bit and you see that there is no golden age. Slaughtering your neighbours has been a favourite hobby of nation states for centuries. Plagues weren’t ever fun. The crusades were far from beacons of religious tolerance and co existence. Maybe we just expect more now. And if that’s true them I’m having it as one of my reasons to be cheerful. At least most of us now have an expectation, or belief, in a right not to be brutalised, destitute or ill and abandoned to our fate. So that’s one. Here’s some more courtesy of Ian and three more of my own:
Reasons to be cheerful – by Ian Dury
Just in case you can’t make out the words, here are Ian’s reasons to be cheerful -
- Some of Buddy Holly, the working folly, Good Golly Miss Molly and boats
- Hammersmith Palais, the Bolshoi Ballet, Jump back in the alley, add nanny goats
- Eighteen-wheeler Scammels, Domineker camels, All other mammals plus equal votes
- Seeing Piccadilly, Fanny Smith and Willy, Being rather silly and porridge oats
- A bit of grin and bear it, a bit of come and share it, You’re welcome, we can spare it, yellow socks
- Too short to be haughty, too nutty to be naughty, Going on forty, no electric shocks
- The juice of the carrot, the smile of a parrot A little drop of claret – anything that rocks
- Elvis and Scotty, the days when I ain’t spotty, Sitting on the potty, curing smallpox
- Health service glasses, gigolos and brasses,
- Round or skinny bottoms, Take your mum to Paris, lighting up the chalice, Wee Willy Harris
- Bantu Stephen Biko, listening to Rico, Harpo, Groucho, Chico
- Cheddar cheese and pickle, the Vincent motor sickle, Slap and tickle
- Woody Allen, Dali, Dimitri and Pasquale, Balabalabala and Volare
- Something nice to study, phoning up a buddy, Being in my nuddy
- Saying ‘okey-dokey’, singalonga Smokey, Coming out of chokey
- John Coltrane’s soprano, Adi Celantano, Bonar Colleano
I suspect some of those may need a trans-Atlantic translation, I’ll get Modenus UK to answer all enquiries. And maybe a couple wouldn’t be on my personal list, but Dury’s appreciation that there is much to be cheerful about is in contrast to so much of the angst ridden of the time he is on of my reasons to be cheerful. And the sax solo by Davey Payne is another.
I could stop there, but there are many more reasons to be cheerful that I want to add to Ian’s list. I just wish I had his lyricism. And there is work to be done so I am going to limit myself to three.
There are lots of personal things, walking on a beach, watching a sun set, hugging the kids. But these are three relatively recent innovations that I really believe are reasons to be cheerful.
They direct you up one way streets and lead you to freeways that haven’t been built yet but sat navs are on my list and not just because they use outrageously expensive military satellites for a tiny personal investment. If you know where you are where you are going then you will always know a better route than your sat nav. But when you are lost, without a clue, sat navs are a reason to be cheerful. And I’ve just come back from North Carolina.
Mobile phones have transformed communication in places like Africa. And with that communication there is the possibility of trade. In Uganda there is a scheme to use mobile phones to transfer cash, bringing a form of banking where there was none. If you want to know more check out this blog on the British Guardian newspaper website. And while they can be a curse in restaurant, on trains and in the hands of drivers, aren’t we all rather cheerful that our teenage daughters can summons us for a lift back when life gets a little hair raising?
The printing press was good. Not needing a room full of monks scribbling away to produce a book made them at lot more accessible. But social media means we can all be writers and publishers. It’s democratic. And its all so fast. This will be available moments after I’ve I’ve read it and probably moments before I’ve checked the spelling. And its personal. I’ve made more friends and business contacts through Twitter than I could have hoped for. Thanks to social media membership of the old boys network is no longer a prerequisite. It really is democratic. And then there is the use of social media to communicate and organise against repressive regimes. The easier it is for people to communicate with each other the harder it is to bully them.
So yes, I’m optimistic. Us human beings have survived some though times, largely self inflicted but tough never the less. I have faith that we survive, thrive through much more. And while we’re doing it, at the very least we’ll be able to share the experience.
Other bloggers for this topic
|Blogger||Blog Post Link|
|Veronika Miller||@modenus||Modenus Community|
|Paul Anater||@paul_anater||Kitchen and Residential Design|
|Bob Borson||@bobborson||Life of an Architect|
|Bonnie Harris||@waxgirl333||Wax Marketing|
|Nick Lovelady||@cupboards||Cupboards Kitchen and Bath|
|Tamara Dalton||@tammyjdalton||Tamara Dalton Design Studios|
|Sean Lintow, Sr.||@SLSconstruction||SLS-Construction.com|
|Cindy FrewenWuellner||@Urbanverse||Urbanverse’s Posterous|
|Steve Mouzon||@stevemouzon||Original Green|
|Madame Sunday||@ModernSauce||Modern Sauce|
|Saxon Henry||@saxonhenry||Roaming by Design|
|Brian Meeks||@ExtremelyAvg||Extremely Average|
|Denese Bottrell||@Denese_Bottrell||Thoughtful Content|
|Betsy De Maio||@egrgirl||Egrgirl’s Blog|
|Steve Kleber||@stevekleber||Marketing Home Products|