Sunday, 26 August 2007

Blogging for Peace

After a year’s almost daily blogging, I ask myself why I keep on doing it? After a busy life of writing, campaigning, and counselling, I’ve reached an age, and a stage of precarious health, where I might do better to lay off the computer and let my mind as well as my body vegetate more.

The answer is complex. Firstly, I blog out of anxiety amounting to fearfulness over the present dreadful state of the world, and the continuing absence of discernible constructive moves to reduce hatred, curb violence, and promote peace.

I find it symptomatic that a well-drafted [because drafted by me!] petition to the peoples of the world to work for the reduction of violence posted by a small group of like-minded friends some months ago has so far attracted less than fifty signatures. We’d hoped – vainly – that it would interest at least as many people as were squabbling over the vicissitudes of scatterbrained Paris Hilton, if not the million or so calling for the abolition of whaling in the Pacific. But no: the prevailing level of global violence is not, it seems, of compelling concern to many bloggers.

I blog in order to have civilised discussions with like-minded, and other-minded, people. I do not blog to ‘win’, or to have slanging matches with those I disagree with. I avoid name-calling and trading insults: bloggers who deal in those currencies aren’t welcome on my sites, and I avoid theirs. Life is too short.

I blog, hopefully, to elucidate different points of view and to move towards constructive solutions. I don’t mean that I expect to reach a mushy sort of ‘consensus’ where everyone pays lip-service to skin-deep agreements; but I do hope to play my small part in rallying the silent solid centre of peaceable, live-and-let-live folk against the rabid extremists on both the Left and the Right.

I blog for tolerance. I blog against hatred and prejudice. I echo Lieutenant Cable in South Pacific:

“You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

“You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a different shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

“You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight
To hate all the people your relatives hate.
You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

This pernicious philosophy is even more virulent than it was half a century ago, when those wise words were written.

Above all, I blog for friendship – an unexpected bonus, and indeed a blessing, which I have happily discovered through my travels and travails around the blogosphere.

To all my blogging friends and acquaintances, I say ”Thank You” for enhancing my life and for making these latter arduous days richer and much pleasanter than I had anticipated.


Anonymous said...

It is we who also need to thank you most of all

lavenderblue said...

Oh,please Anticant,never stop....we need you xx

Emmett said...

YOU Blog along because you love us, you valetudinarian elder skunk, admit it...even (or, maybe, ESPECIALLY!) all the damn boneheads! And, Christ knows, there's a shower of THEM....

anticant said...

Dear Emmett, though I'm drawn to aspects of Buddhist philosophy, as you are to Sufism, I can't pretend I have as yet attained a sufficient degree of enlightenment to be able to love EVERYBODY.

However, I do my level best not to hate anyone - with very few unavoidable exceptions - and I do strongly believe that all the vile and cruel behaviour in the world originates from lack of love, and not from inborn hate.

So I do my best not to hate even the most depraved, degraded, and disgusting people, but to extend compassion to them. It isn't always, easy, but it's better than the alternative, both for me and for the world.