Well what a week since my last blog! Kate and Will tied the knot, Osama Bin Laden was (we assume) shot, the Liberal Democrats got a severe and powerful canning from the British electorate, and Marks and Spencer failed to deliver my wardrobes for the third time. I was meditating on the events of the last week and I was thinking about the similarity in all these three situations. All involve both truth and faith, let me explain.
Kate and Will, who do, genuinely, seem like a very happy and well-suited couple, made a commitment to truth and faith with each other, in a belief that they can make a positive life together. And all this done very, very publically, to great acclaim. They have far greater expectations on them, as hinted at in the media. It is suggested that it will be up to them to save the Royal family from themselves. According to the many people that I talk with, their faith in the integrity of the Royal Family has been largely lost. This is because of all the issues with Princess Diana, and especially the behaviour of Prince Charles, both trust and faith were severely damaged. Whether or not the warm hearts, clear eyes and smiles of Will and Kate will turn into an honest and faithful life, we have yet to see.
Unless you are a committed terrorist, or anarchist, the antics of Al-Qaeda are totally unsupportable. The concept that we can create rightness by perpetrating wrongness should have died with the First World War, though for many, this misconception of attempting to solve the world’s ills through violence is alive and well. Yet, however we experience Al-Qaeda, its members may well feel that their leader did keep faith with them to the bitter end, and has been true to their shared beliefs. In truth, I do not know the answer to that question. But I do know that many people in the West lost faith with George Bush and Tony Blai, as their honesty and justifications for their various wars fell away like leaves from a tree in the fall, leaving them bare and unsupportable. The question of whether Osama Bin Laden is dead, was killed this week, or years ago, raises doubts to the honesty of the current administration. The fact that the body and video footage has remained hidden, followed by the need to quickly dispose of the body in an unknown location, at sea, all have the uneasy feeling of yet another administration with more leaves falling from trees; Bush and Blair all over again.
The strange thing for me is that when Barack Obama was elected, it had all the feelings of something wonderful happening in the world. That this was a new mind, with a new set of eyes and ears, and open heart, who could really understand the realities of the repressed people of the world, with the motivation to do something about it. It felt that we could now embark on a new era of profound and clear world leadership that could move us all towards peace and reconciliation. Not a bit of it. From here, it just seems like business as usual and same old, same old. Again, the prosecution of war and self-interest under the banner of being a world leader. Not something to easily keep faith with.
We had the same experience in Britain when Tony Blair came to power. As someone who posed as left of centre, we expected him to repeal the worst of the previous administrations “bad” laws and be the force of unity that would bring the wounded electorate, and population, together. Instead, we got Maggie Thatcher in a suit, and it was business as usual, same old, same old. By the time he had hooked up with George Bush and invaded Iraq, he had lost faith with the majority of the electorate, and it became inevitable that his party would lose the next election, which of course it did. I note that Tony Blair had done his best to remove himself as far as he could from facing up to the consequences of his actions. Enter Nick Clegg.
When the last administration were evicted from Downing Street by a cobbled together ragtag of political ideas, no-one could have envisaged the negative actions that would follow. David Cameron, like Tony Blair and Maggie Thatcher, has progressed the right wing ideas that result in the inevitable destruction of the welfare state. However, David Cameron does not have a mandate to do any of the things that he is busily doing. His party ended up with 35% of the vote, not a working majority to underpin any of his current actions. Had it not been for Nick Clegg deciding to do exactly the opposite of what he promised the electorate, David Cameron would not be able to do any of the things that he has.
In fairness to David Cameron, he has acted to type and he can’t really be criticised for acting the way that he has. However, Nick Clegg has no justification for anything that he has done. The elections this week showed him, and his party, that once you lose faith with your electorate, the journey is over and the only resolution is to own up and go away and find something else to do. The question is, “Can you keep faith with a liar?”
I’ll keep the story about M&S for another day, when things might have resolved. Current situation is that we paid for two wardrobes four months ago and despite their continual promises and three missed delivery dates, we have no wardrobes and are living like nomads with a floordrobe instead. Have you noticed how hard it is to deal with a liar? When someone promises you something and then fails to keep their word, the effects can be devastating, as anyone who has experienced a divorce or split up will attest. I wonder how long it will be before our clothes are taken off the floor and put into the wardrobes, five months, six months, it is all down to M&S as they have both the wardrobes and our money. I will keep you updated.
Regarding Nick Clegg, only his party can decide whether or not he remains an asset or a liability; time will tell. If we look at our own lives, can people keep faith with us? Do your relationships, at all levels, reflect truthfulness or deception? Rie says, “A thief is easier to deal with than a liar”. She says that you know where you stand with a thief (you can lock things away), but with a liar, you never know where you stand.
My teacher Ramgee would say, “When you are honest, there is no need to run and no need to hide”. It is true that a world of transparent honesty is the least stressful.