"The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." attributed to Plato

"Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing." attributed to Edmund Burke

Let's between us make the world a better place.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

More thoughts on the English city lootings

What is money? It is difficult to define. We have ingrained within our deepest psyche a sense that our monetary wealth reflects our success and affects our happiness.
But we know from studies that once a certain and fairly modest standard of living has been achieved any further increase in wealth does not improve our happiness. It is then influenced more by our status in society, the quality of our personal relationships and our physical health.And status emphatically does not mean celebrity status. It means being valued for our own unique gifts and qualities, whatever those may be.

And that is an important point in considering the reasons for the riots of the last week in English Cities: being valued for our own unique gifts and qualities, whatever those may be.

Because these lootings of shops and businesses were not about need. Many of these youngsters didn’t actually want for very much in material needs – many seemed to have expensive smart phones, and many also drove away from the trouble when they had done their worst in cars that were more than “old bangers.”
Yes the looting was about materialism and greed, and a lack of understanding between what is right and wrong. But what example have these people been set over the last few months by the Members of Parliament expenses scandal, or the News of the World Phone Hacking revelations. It is more than just these youngsters (and some not so young) who need to learn the difference between right and wrong. And what do our youth think when they see the ‘super rich’, to be found most visibly to them among the celebrities of sport, television and movie, but particularly the footballers.

The lavish life-styles led by many such persons breed an envy and greed, particularly it would seem among the young who are being taught by example that material wealth and celebrity status are the measure of ‘success’. Add to that a lack of education, jobs, stable family relationships, a lack of self worth or self esteem, and the recipe for disaffection and looting and violence is put together. All it takes is for the fuse to be lit.

I expand these thoughts and offer many ideas for how we can all do our bit to heal these and many others issues of the world in my own book. There is much more information on my website.

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