Thursday 1 January 2004

Blog the New Year

Thanks for it all
As usual my religious background contends that at the New Year one gives thanks for the opportunity to see another year.
Seeing all the perils that have befallen many over the last year and the circumstances in which one has escaped or been protected from the lot can only create a thankful disposition for being spared.
Knowing that there is a greater One beyond us with whom all things consist makes all that difference if thanks are muttered or shouted out loud in the assumed hysteria of gushing and heartfelt thanks.
One is thankful, for some many things, the possibilities for mishap, misfortune, accidents and bad luck abounded, but one has seen good health, prosperity through the mercy of God and His abundant grace.
There have been times that one has wondered how each day has passed into history offering new opportunities for hope and privilege. How the past with its lessons have provided useful insight for the future that promises great change and scope to remain relevant and thanks remain a constant feature.
The New Year is another opportunity; a leap year is a greater opportunity. One should also remember that on February the 29th an ex-boss turns 10 - bless him.
The thankless "representatives"
In the UK, the Queen offers honours to citizens of the Commonwealth for their services to their communities or other spheres of influence that they command.
It is commendable that there are societies where people are honoured just as a recognition of their work or status.
There is no doubt that the award system have by and large been abused, but that is the substance of privilege.
Like it or not, every endeavour of life is subject to varying degrees of validation scrutiny and a reward system serves to quantify that validation process.
In schools it is exams and the individual's success that defines abilities, in business knowing a product that the customer wants and then offering it the way the customer wants creates value and profit.
In every other undertaking there is recognition of the successful, the average and the failing. The ability for people to transcend these validation processes represents that person’s response to change and ability to change.
We are a constitutional monarchy in the UK but the real governmental power is vested in the House of Commons with the House of Lords being the revising chamber.
It is unfortunate that both the monarchy and the House of Lords are undergoing so much reform when it is the House of Commons that needs the most reform.
The democratic institutions in the UK offer platforms to three parties and rarely meritocratic opportunity to independents.
Once the election is over, constituency representation is at a lower priority to party politics and policies that do not necessarily reflect the electorates' interests.
We are a monarchy anyhow and we just have to live with it till the electorate decides for a republic.
There is no doubt that if the head of our political process is a jousting dandy politician rather than the aloof Queen, the value of that representation would diminish into the interest serving system we recognise in countries like the United States.
A political and governmental system requires a wise figure-head like a monarch representing our heritage or an apolitical president like those of Germany or Italy.
The news has been awash with information of certain individuals who have been honoured but have rejected the honours for whatever reasons.
This brings to the fore a classic example of people who are representative of a self-serving lower esteem class of people who are still in the throes of integration even after three generations in the UK.
One is glad that being born in England, one grew up in Africa where one's race had never been an issue. Escaping the race and deprivation politics of the 70s and 80s has done one a whole world of good. It helps one realise that racism and its effects are a thing of the mind and self-realisation.
Where that aspect of esteem is resolved, there is no need to herald one's race or suffer the unnecessary taunts of rude inference masquerading as light hearted jokes.
One sees that having a quick wit so easily puts paid to those things. Illustrated in a few examples below:
Internet Chat setting.
Q: Do you Africans still live on trees?
A little research reveals that the inquirer is from Sweden, so obtain the full title of the King of Sweden.
A: Yes indeed we do, in fact, when King Carl XVI Gustaf visited, we put him on the tallest tree and fed him bananas.
The shock expressed by the inquirer after that most definitely extracted more than an apology. That one had inferred that his king was a monkey was just desserts be trying to be too smart.
A conversation at work.
Person: Akin, the guy you borrowed your suit from wants it back.
The person happens to have some envelopes on him.
Answer: I see you have a delivery service, would you take it back?
One never heard such smart jokes from the person again. Others within earshot also learnt not to mess around with such issues.
Take the honours and inspire others
Conversely, those issues represent a situation of unparalleled rudeness, literally unbelievable and supposed to upset you seriously.
One could have viewed them as the vituperative insults that they were and launched a whole racism complaint process for the crowds to latch onto. No, when one is self assured, you give as good as you get and even better.
About the awards, they represent nothing but recognition, they do not even come with a prize as with the Nobel Prize.
Every well mannered individual would accept the honours with thanks and still continue in the work that was recognised in the presentation of that honour.
However, if the activity being honoured has not been resolved with sincerity in the hearts and minds of the recipient, the urge to reject becomes compelling.
It is a great disservice however to the others who have integrated into the society they find themselves, who's contributions are worthy of recognition but are not recognise because of the selfish leftwing agendas of the refuseniks.
Once again, we are a constitutional monarchy, honours and recognition of service will still be offered and presented by the monarch till we become a republic. The republic would not make it to the radar screens for generations.
I say, "Take the honours and inspire others".

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