Standing on a rocky ledge, staring down into a heartless sea

Such is life. 

Not just for me but, particularly recently, for all of us. 

The world seems very uncertain. The world seems unbelievably spontaneous. You never know what’s coming next. 

As someone who thrives on certainty and logic I find it very hard to cope with events outside my control. Especially events that churn up emotionally charged responses in others. It’s that loss of control, loss of predictability, loss of order, that upsets me. 

I’m rarely affected by news. I don’t watch it because it annoys me. Too much bias one way or another, too many stories dragged out to interminable lengths, too many stories that start, but then you never hear the end of. I find it irritating and the presentation smug and self congratulatory. 

But some news breaks through. Some news upsets me or leaves me more downhearted and dismayed than before. It’s at times like those that I find myself on that rocky ledge, staring down into a heartless sea wondering where all the love, compassion and common decency has gone in this world. Of course these tragedies bring forth those very qualities but those qualities are more pronounced because they were born out of a tragedy!. Where are they on a daily basis ?. 

I live now, in a very “white” area with little discernible multiculturalism. It’s typically English, quite rural, gentile. Safe. But I remember working with a fantastic Muslim (now a hotshot employment lawyer), a funny laid back West Indian, a gay boss who was the kindest most conscientious work colleague ever in a Jewish area where everyone got on. Yes it was work but everyone talked to each other. Nobody raised a voice, good humour was central to our working life and we pulled together. We celebrated our differences (and this was long before my Aspergers diagnosis) and showed due consideration for everyone’s beliefs. 

I wonder what it’s like now. 

I’ve never understood racism. Partially because it’s stupid and I don’t “do” stupid. How anyone can get upset by someone else’s skin colour seems utterly illogical. I don’t do religious hatred or bigotry either. I’m not religious. If I had to choose one I’d probably plump for Buddhism because I’m more spiritual (I think) but hating someone because they believe in a god that’s not yours or because the way they worship doesn’t match the way you do it is, again, stupid. 

It’s stupidity that’s trying to push us off that rocky ledge. 

The stupidity of the terrorist, the suicide bomber, the fanatic. The stupidity of those whose heads are turned by the ravings of men who distort the words of their gods into something vile and cruel. 

What a stupid world we live in. 

I’m not saying we should love each other. Yes it would be lovely but it would be hypocritical of me to suggest something I couldn’t do myself. It’s more about tolerance. Accept each other’s differences and move on. What doesn’t affect you doesn’t affect you. If my neighbour is a Hindu  how does that affect me ?. When he eats or prays has no direct impact on my tea time or my belief system. Why do we care so much ?. 

If a Muslim gentleman says hello to me as we pass in the street, is it not respectful of me to reply ?. If a Jew steps aside to let me walk down the pavement is it too much to say thank you ?. If a Sikh asks me for the time, do I not tell him ?. 

We view everything with so much suspicion. Some of that suspicion is media fuelled but we can’t see enemies in every doorway. We can’t stop living because a few exist in a world of hate where only self sacrifice and the loss of innocent life are deemed to be the answer. 

We simply can’t. 

As someone on the Autistic spectrum I find the world a confusing place. I find people’s distrust of others deeply worrying. I find it illogical and stupid. I want it to stop. 

We’re standing on a rocky ledge, staring down into a heartless sea. 

Let’s all hope we don’t fall! 

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