08. おつかれさまでした … More Than Just a Word

Not Just a Word … a Mind-set

If I could … “inject” … one single word
into the collective conscience
of what may loosely be considered “Western Society”,
it would be this one –

お疲れ様 でした

The voiced pronunciation is … “Ot su kare sama”

おつかれさま

– and then, to denote past-tense,

でした – “desh ta”.

Not merely a Word … but a mind-set.

A Conviction. A Philosophy.

One that requires

Thankfulness,
Thoughtful Consideration,
and extends Kindness

for the work or effort that someone else has done.

It will come as no secret to those who visit this Internet site,
that it saddens and frustrates me
that people return here time and time again;
read, or watch a video

– more often than not, espousing
compassion or courtesy –

and yet leave without so much as a word of thanks,
or even greeting.

I am making every effort to be friendly … to people
who cannot be bothered to be friendly in return.
And it breaks my heart.

The … つかれる … “tsukareru” in the word means

‘to be exhausted’.

“Ot su kare sama” recognises that

someone else

has put in effort

from which you (in some way) have benefitted.

It recognises that … “I” … am not
the centre of the world – that the efforts
of conscientious people in this world
are not here for you to take, and use,
and glibly walk away.

Even if people come here to have a laugh –
– to mock that some pathetic old man
is actually Stupid Enough
to espouse Morality and Manners —

— On The Internet (!!!)

I put in about eight hours of work
for every single article appearing here – in an effort to Try
to edify, or challenge the conscience of, people
who have given themselves over to the self-centred,
Contemporary Nothingness of the 21st century …

and even the fact that the content of this site is a joke to you,
does not prevent some form of “ot su kare sama”
from you.

Less high opinion of “Me” … and more
humble appreciation for Others,

and this vicious, vanity-driven world Would Be
an infinitely more pleasant place.

At the end of April, an opulent house which is
set back from the country road in front of us, held
– on a Saturday evening – what (upon walking up
at 10:00pm to find out where the noise was coming from)
I was told was a 60th birthday party.

This included a White Tent, and a ‘live’ … “band” …

to hammer noise into the sitting rooms and bedrooms
of those who happened to live anywhere in the village.

I have absolutely no concept of the amount
of selfish arrogance that is required
to be so obnoxious as to force ‘my’ noise
into my neighbours’ home –

but clearly, human beings who are so bereft
of consideration for others,
will have no capacity to even remotely understand
the sentiment behind this word:

that there are others who share this earth,
and who might want to live in peace
in their own homes …

and who deserve to be recognised,
and shown due courtesy and consideration.

Forcing one’s obnoxious presence upon any and all
who are within their immediate vicinity –

whether through house “parties”, “boom cars”
and other such pathetic, attention-seeking vehicles;
or those who ride around on motorcycles
that sound like flatulating refrigerators

– noise is the method used by those who are vain,
to openly display their domineering arrogance to the world.

British Columbia, Canada: Currently, Our Part of the World

An American university professor last year
expressed her belief that my wife and her colleague
were the top experts in their field, in the world;

and that is why we are currently located
on the west coast of Canada:
to help children who are afflicted
with a specific medical disability.

We chose our current location because we were told
(and stupidly believed) that it was “The Bible Belt”.

An indication – we reasoned – that people living there
would have, at least, a moral centre.

Coming from a tiny rural location in Scotland
where Shetland ponies roamed the hills,
and were not adverse to looking in the window,

our notion of a North American “Bible belt”
was appallingly far removed
from the reality of what we found.

The third night we here, I was out on the road at 11:00pm
confronting an actual, real ‘drag race’ of punks who – apparently,
used the strip of road outside our house as a speedway.

Looking Left

Looking Right …

[ Our experience in Canada is detailed in “A Countryside Diary” ]

And, of course, no one locally, sees or hears anything.

Drug deals were conducted at night, on the walking trail
of the mountain behind our home.
Headlights would meet in the centre at night,
while one vehicle reversed out, to be replaced by another.
I was the only resident who would stand there
and observe the ‘customers’ who left.

This “Bible belt” here, we soon discovered, features
bags of junk-food trash routinely strewn along the roadside
and dumped at ‘the picnic green’ a minute’s walk away;

‘jacked-up’ pickup trucks ‘burning’ tyres outside our gate;
punks ‘laying on’ the horn as they drive past;

and even physical threats – “You better get the f—
out of here” – uttered right at the front of our house
in February of this year.

Going in person to beg help at the police office last September
resulted in not even the courtesy (much less professionalism)
of a telephone call – although we DID receive a letter signed in ink,
to declare that my wife was driving at 24 km – cycling speed –
over the speed limit, on a country road: That was important;
harassment and intimidation — not so much.

In 2012, laden with the sedative effects of cough and cold syrup,
upon walking over at ten o’clock one night
to have the partying crowd of one particular family festivity
turn down the pole-mounted “disco” speakers
that were pounding from the blueberry farm
(now, wonderfully, a Buddhist retreat) next to us.

A minute after the noise was turned down,
while leaving the property to return home,
I was punched repeatedly by one crazed punk
before a relative of the property owner interceded.

Even Wing Chun – my form of self-defence –
would serve no purpose as three ‘clean-cut’ adult men
– relatives of the thug –
took advantage of a pause in the attack
to look into my face and tell me that,
if I did anything to touch him (that is, defend myself) –

“We will say (to police) that you walked over
and hit him for no reason.”

It was not, however, the attack of the vicious youth
that brought tears to my eyes as I returned to our house,

but seeing that my neighbours
had been standing around … watching the ‘show’.

Not one of them lifted a finger to help.

Not one.

Here in the “Bible belt”, the expectation of moral decency
and common courtesy is Unreasonable;
whilst evil and obnoxious behaviour is evidently deemed
‘normal’ … and even a source of entertainment.

Those who live in a fantasy world here,
talk loudly of “Community Spirit” … ???

Vicious savages; harassment from thugs;
open drug-dealing, and apathetic neighbours.

Quite the Community.

The real tragedy is spending one’s life savings
– to come to such a place.

The vicious arrogance that was so openly manifest
in the “music”, ‘movies’ and television from, say, 1990 onward,
is now standard practice in a world that exudes

not consideration for the peaceful; but,
contempt for the peaceful;

not respect for those who are moral,
but ridicule for those who are moral.

“Bible Belt” ??? Personal Experience
and plain observation has shown that multitudes
– church-going as well as not – follow a bible alright:

but it is the one whose central tenet proclaims,

“Do what thou wilt
shall be the whole of the law.”

If I could inject one word into the consciousness
of those who have no conscience,
it would be

おつかれさまでした

“otsu kare sama deshita”

not for the word …
but for the pre-requisites that are required
to voice it in its sincerity.

Sadly, in a world that visibly degenerates
to increasingly vicious and self-centred depths
with every passing year –

it is one language lesson
that I am certain will never be tolerated.

P Livingstone

09. A Balanced Consideration of “Government”

“The Government” has given me (at date of this writing)
an additional twelve years with my father,
whose life would have ended – were it not for
the government health system
which pays for his highly expensive medication.

I shall never stop being grateful to them, for that
Priceless contribution to … My … life.

Within the borders of every country throughout the world,
evil is to be contained by the magistrate, or government.

Judicial Wisdom is the effective application of

Severity (to confront evil);
Compassion (to prevent legal tyranny); and
Justice (for the victim, and against the wilful offender).

Whilst these things may no longer effectively exist
in the 21st century, any semblance to them
must be appreciated and embraced:

the alternative is Anarchy: the rampaging evil
of the Vicious, and the Violent, and the Cruel –
against those who are Timid, and Peaceful,
and Compassionate.

One cannot have had even the slightest familiarity
with the Internet over the past decade,
and have failed to notice the arrogance, the selfishness,
and the rage that is evidently fashionable amongst multitudes:

rage against government;
rage against bankers;
rage against anyone who is moral.

Rage.

There no longer appears to be a capacity in human beings
to exercise moral common sense – Either to discern
right from wrong; or to act with moderation.

The modern mind seems capable only
of thinking in terms of extremes.
Moderation, evidently, is a thing of the past.

There has been, since the 1990′s, a stupefied mind-set
of passivity with regard to the affairs of this world.

Time and time again, television broadcasts are made wherein
the parents or family of a murder victim are heard to say
of the vicious, smirking savage that raped, tortured,
or murdered their daughter … “We forgive him”.

It seems, somehow, to grotesquely be imagined
as being a “Christian” virtue.

However intently such deluded souls make the claim,
such a notion has nothing whatsoever
to do with ‘biblical’ forgiveness
(which concerns personal insult or injury – and NOT
vicious crimes against the peace of society as a whole.)

The Bible that these individuals claim to follow,
makes it irrefutably clear that with God, there is … NO
forgiveness without genuine repentance.

Passivity that is devoid of discernment and moral application
most certainly stands in flat Defiance of biblical instruction.
In matters of personal offense – yes, I am to walk away;
to “turn the other cheek”.

This directive for my PERSONAL behaviour
in NO way applies to the rulers –
the “magistrates” – who are charged
with keeping JUDICIAL peace and equity in the land.

No One (possessing a moral conscience) will knowingly
permit a rapist, paedophile, or wilful vandal to roam freely
in their neighbourhood.

Blind and sweeping passivity is nothing but grievously
displaced, mindless emotion contradicting, as it does,
the biblical directive to rulers to remove evil from society.

There is a decided distinction, however,
between serving government … and serving tyranny.

Yet, a tyrannical government is still to be preferred
to complete anarchy: The evil of malignant individuals
MUST be controlled by some form of ‘law and order’.

The sober-minded adult has no part in revolution
against a government that maintains law and order
to some degree for – most assuredly,

it is the fear of ‘the law’ alone, that prevents
conscienceless savages in modern society
from inflicting sadism and murder upon the quiet,
and weak, and the peaceable in the land.

What is the directive of the mature citizen, in such a case?
It is to live passively: to do good and moral works
whenever occasion arises; and to live quietly in the land
as much as is possible.

Yet, whilst no act is to be done selfishly
or with a view to personal revenge, that abused biblical text,
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good”
[ Romans 12.21 ] in no wise maintains
that evil is to be allowed to run freely upon the earth.

For a biblical Christian, the forceful stance against evil
is to be carried out by either
the providence of God in his over-ruling hand
in the affairs of this world;
or by the government that is permitted by God,
to be in power.

Forgiving a personal insult is one thing;

licencing a vicious predator to prey on society
is quite another.

So-called ‘Peace’ never comes at the expense of truth,
moral righteousness, or punitive justice.

Nor does it come from malicious thoughts
and spiteful criticism against the government of the land.

Vicious savages, sadistic thugs who find their ‘manhood’
in harassing and brutalising the weak and the defenceless;
conscienceless, apathetic, and lazy narcissists
exist in every age, and every country:
as equally in the lowest citizen as the highest politician.

When despotic tyrants and regimes – throughout the world –
overstep their bounds on earth,
others – who are equally as vicious,
take it upon themselves to wage war
and place the instigator under control.

I am a peace-loving man, and would have no part
of violence in any form. And yet, I realise that there are
multitudes in every level of society, who vent malicious thoughts
upon leaders whose policies run contrary to their own.

Such a thing should not be, for again: even a bad government
is to be preferred above anarchy.

Men – in every walk of life – may engage in treachery,
greed, and brutality: yet I am determined to never
stoop to their level.

There is much good to be found in government;
and it is – surely – monstrous hypocrisy to take the good,
and spew sentiments of revolt in return.

In my own life, I have been deeply grateful to the government
in Canada, where my parents have resided for the past thirty years.

Twelve years ago, my Dad suffered a massive heart attack
and several subsequent strokes, and we relocated
for fear that he had very little time left to live.

It is only through the benevolence of the government
– whose health care system provides the medication
(I could never have imagined one single pill costing £55/€70/$100)
that is essential to his well-being – that I have had
these last twelve years to spend with him.

Caring, helpful nurses, physicians, and surgeons
have tended to my Dad, whose medical care
in the form of regular hospital visits – as well as
expenses for medication – are funded by …

“The Government” in Canada, where he lives.

Were it not for … The Government … my Dad
would have been dead this past twelve years;

and neither I, nor my brother, would have had
the time to spend with him, which we now still enjoy.

I cannot imagine a life ruled by self-indulgence:
where one is always Wanting –

Wanting a big screen TV,
Wanting another car,
Wanting the next iToy.

Always discontented. Always wanting more.

People, it seems, evidently believe that they may buy
without consequence: that credit is a serpent
sting, if not handled with discretion and maturity.

People who have so willingly given themselves over
to spend in wilful and fervent stupidity,
have no reason to complain when they have
squandered bank-loans on hedonism,
toys, trifles, and vanity …

and find that the bank now demands either payment,
or the full return of its loan.

We live contentedly in a little farm-house because
… The Bank … has given us a mortgage
to enjoy that which we cannot afford.

On the 31st of October, 2014 our beloved dog, Ben,
died despite a blood transfusion which, it was hoped,
would save his life.

It did not.

He was one of our three dogs (in three years)
who died from the complications of old age.
Our only source of consolation lies in the fact
that we were able to pay for emergency medical care
for each of them –

because our bank provided us with a VISA Card,
in the belief that we would use it wisely.

IF people will not stop living in a dream-world
of their own vanity and greed, they must not complain
if – eventually, they are obliged to wake up.

I would not want a life that is motivated by greed
and lust for power to dominate others.

I find it disturbing to observe, on the Internet, the readiness
– that seems primarily to centre in comments from Canada
and America – of people to dispense malignant rage;

to hurl personal degradation upon peaceful people –
for no other reason, than that they hold a different sentiment,
or philosophy, in life.

Or the indignation that people hurl when a bank
– or a government – expects them to behave with restraint
and self control in the ordinary course of daily life.

For me, it is always preferable to strive with diligence:
to recognise and appreciate the Good in government policy –

rather than fixate upon those things

with which I may not agree.

P Livingstone

10. Women’s “Liberation” (?) … and The One Ring

“Liberation” ? … The Modern Woman … and The One Ring

The reason that I continually find myself shunned
by people in the 21st century, centres around
the sheer aggression of people in general.

Last weekend, whilst walking past a car in which
a mother was plainly struggling to free her child’s foot
from a strap on the car-seat – I stopped
and spoke across to her … “Can I help?”

The woman froze.

The husband – sitting in the driver’s seat with that typical,
21st-century, cow-chewing-its-cud, glazed expression –
made absolutely no effort to help untangle the strap
from the child’s limb.

“Are you alright?” I asked.

Craning to look over her shoulder at me,
the twenty-something displayed what can
only be described as a mask of disgust,
and replied, “Yeeee-ah-uh!”
in that obnoxious, modern-day drawl
which is seemingly reserved for those
who ask the most ludicrous questions possible.

“Very sad that you find an offer of help
– made out of kindness – to be so offensive”
I remarked before walking off.

In what an arrogant and barbaric state
must the human mind and soul be, when even
someone in need of help, will not possess the humility
and gratitude … to accept it.

There is an evident and alarming readiness
in the modern multitudes to instantly ridicule
or regard with suspicion … anyone –
when given the slightest opportunity to do so.

Whilst I cannot help but suspect that belittling others
makes ignorant or cruel people believe
that they are more intelligent, or capable,

what is evident, is that this modern readiness to degrade
– rather than think, or consider – certainly appeals
to the vanity of the Vicious.

There have always been vulgar, degraded, and vicious
people: but what is most certain, is that – whereas
when I was in school, our immediate response to adults
was along the lines of “Please, Sir” … “Yes, Miss” … or
“No, Thank You, Ma’am” –

Parents” have set the example for twelve year-olds
who are without restraint in ‘effing and blinding’,
and ‘giving lip’ to shocked elders, teachers at school,
and security guards in the shopping centre.

Neither I, nor my friends, in the 1960’s,
would have done anything that would bring
disgrace upon our parents.

Whilst impertinence is far, far more prevalent now,
malignant humanity has certainly been around
since the world began. It is just that now,
selfishness, promiscuity, arrogance, malice,
vengeance, violence – Aggression – is now regarded
as ‘normal’ behaviour.

The LIBERATED WOMAN

I have quietly observed that, in the 21st century,
there is no such thing as “hate speech”
when it is directed
towards anything that is remotely moral.

The whole of the Internet is a platform
for the vicious to degrade other people,
gratify vanity, or satisfy greed.

The comments on YouTube alone
are more than sufficient to reveal that moral conscience
is no longer a general trait
of 21st century humanity.

Consider the popular fascination with Tolkien,
and his tale of Middle Earth.

” The ring is the ultimate machine because it was made
for coercion. Made by Sauron to coerce. And that is why,
the only solution to the problem of the ring –
as the wise of Rivendale saw – was its destruction.”
[ Christopher Toliken, BBC: JRR Tolkien –
A Study of the Maker of Middle Earth ]

A race now exists (generally and with rare exception)
of people who cannot think for themselves, but must
imitate what they see played out on television, cinema,
and computer screens;

unable to think from a reserve of facts gleaned
from the reading of quality books, but needing instead,
to “look up” everything on the Internet.

Many – judging by their own raucous speech
whilst standing in the queue at the supermarket,
or the coffee-house – have no higher enjoyment in life
than the amplified noise and debauchery
of the next liquor-fuelled “party” or “night out”.

Unable to express themselves without filthy profanity,
the qualities that once raised a human being
above the level of an animal

– self discipline, patience, the ability to pause
and reason, selfless compassion –

have been discarded and replaced by a machine-like
ruthlessness devoid of any mature, once-human quality
of humble self-sacrifice.

Many – possessing neither maturity nor refinement,
use ‘boom cars’ or audio speakers in the house,
to dominate the civilised, and pound their noise
through the homes of quiet-living, peaceable people.

Human beings HAVE BECOME – Ringwraithes –
lifeless beings that are utterly
dependent upon technology:
unable to think, reason, discern,
or judge Good from Evil –

but following, like machines, whatever
a video screen or a ‘news”-paper tells them.

Merely look, or listen, in any public place,
and the fact will be readily confirmed: multitudes
whose “conversation” – punctuated by
filthy obscenities – can be heard thirty feet away;

people who will not even look (much less smile)
at a stranger they pass on the street – instead,
shout inanities into mobile telephones for all to hear;
“text” furiously;
or stare vacantly – their ears plugged
with miniature loudspeakers.

Human beings connected to machines:
incapable of mature conversation
with sober-minded people; vacuously existing
… like machines.

Nothing will arouse them from their stupor
until the next iProduct “upgrade” renews
the grip of technology once again, and they are
plunged deeper into their technological addiction
– oblivious that there ever was a time
when people did not need machines
in order to ‘have a life’.

It is this technological darkness
that replaces brain function,
and seems to bind
21st century inhabitants together.

This is the One Ring at work:

“One ring to rule them all,
one ring to find them;
one ring to bring them all,
and in the darkness, bind them
… in the land of Mordor.”

The name is Old English:
the land of … Murder.

And Nowhere is there ANY place
more populated by vicious, vindictive,
mental and emotional Murderers,

than the Internet.

It is a land of Ringwraithes:
having no discernible lives in and of themselves;

raised in adolescence to know nothing of responsibility,
accountability, discipline, curfews, or correction;

guided by nothing but their own “Self Esteem” –
their mentality formed by the mental sewage
and moral filth of television, cinema;
computer games, and the Internet;

and motivated by whatever amusement
is portrayed on the screen in front of them.

Simply typing the words: “Tolkien” “Middle Earth”
into YouTube is enough to immediately – immediately –
reveal an example of the effects of this ‘One Ring’:

Having select one of the first-offered results,
I was, within 5 seconds – seconds ! –
confronted with comments in which

some young woman expresses her offense
at “Tolkien’s prudish Victorian morality” …
and then adds what seems to be considered
some form of ‘qualification’ for her ignorance:

“Keep in mind I belong to a living history group
and know a bit about the middle-ages.”

The unbridled Ignorance absolutely boggles the mind.

I can hammer a nail into a piece of wood:
that does not make me a carpenter.

Nor does some upstart’s passing involvement
in some club
denote her an expert in matters, and people,
and a time
in which she neither lived nor experienced.

Having felt perfectly free to express
her detestation of a time
when it was generally recognised
that the sanctity, safety,
and smooth running of the home; and,

the moral well-being and proper raising
of beloved children,
was thanks to the diligence, care, and selflessness

of a loving wife and mother …

She then makes it clear that she regards
such diligent honourable, moral responsibility;

as well as a society in which selfless diligence
was Commonplace … as ‘prudish’,

– all whilst making it abundantly clear that she
will tolerate no criticism of her

[ I have edited the obscenities ]:

“People that make hateful comments towards me
will be booted and blocked. I personally hate people
that act like a**holes in general.
If you want to say something towards me
be respectful, or get f*cked.
My thread, My rules.”

[ End Quote ]

And there it is:

A real woman of the 21st century –

Be “respectful” to me … or “get f*cked”.

What a testament to her parents.
What a representative of her family.
What a perfect example of modern society.

She can denounce the morality of a man;
but obscenities are heaped upon anyone
who might dish out similar treatment to her.

She derides others, yet demands that everyone
be respectful to her;

and does so by hurling vicious, filthy profanity
at anyone who will not bow
to … her … rules.

So bereft of a conscience,
the irony is utterly lost to her.

This is PRECISELY the One Ring at work.

There was a time when women were known as

“The Gentle Sex”.

A century later sees them, not merely imitating men,
but – having become
every bit as crude and vicious.

Women’s … ‘LIBERATION’ ?

Indeed, given my memories of the dignified, feminine,
and respectable women that I remember from the 1960’s,

it is a gigantic … DEGRADATION.

There is something, for me, about seeing aggression,
vulgar filth, and profane obscenities
disgorged from the mouth or mind of a woman

that simply fills me with an overwhelming sense

that ‘all is lost’.

P Livingstone

11. Thoughts to a Young Woman

In this age where truth is despised,
and advocating common decency
is regarded as ‘hate speech’,
my heart breaks for little children today.

Most especially, I suppose, for girls who are
– very evidently – being taught
that it is somehow a shame, or weakness,
to want to behave or dress … like a Lady.

I remember a time when women
were not ashamed to be feminine;

nor felt the need to impersonate
crude, obnoxious, and vulgar men.

There is a reason why Irish writer Bram Stoker


gave Dracula the quality of having no reflection
in a mirror:

There are multitudes, in this world,
who are so evil – so narcissistic –
that they do not see anything wrong
when they are confronted with themselves
– their conduct and conversation –
in the Mirror of Conscience.

They see nothing.

Nothing at all.

They prey upon people …
in order to ‘feed’ their own ego.

They live in the darkness …
and fear the light of morality shining upon them.

They suck the life from people …
and move on to the next victim.

PROFANITY: Revealing Your Depravity to the World

Multitudes use the “power” of the Internet,
who have no business being On the Internet.

Had they the ‘mirror’ of a conscience,
they would writhe in shame
at the public example that they present of themselves.

And – if they had but the wit (or conscience),
would remove every trace of themselves
from public display.

Humility is gone.

And with it, those qualities – discernment, discretion,
self control – which once distinguished a human being
from a vicious savage.

The Vicious

The last time I had made an effort to give the Internet
“a fair chance”, I happened across a BBC documentary video
on YouTube – and invariably noticed the comment
that was visible immediately beneath.

In presenting this particular video on YouTube,
a mother had posted a medical comment
pertaining to her daughter who had Down’s Syndrome.

One reply ( the comment that I noticed )
was from an American viewer

who told this caring woman
that special needs children were a ‘drain’ on society

… and that she should … “have put your retard down”.

I could not take it in.

I remember actually beginning to shake.

Now ( given the lifestyle that I have led
for the past thirty years ) I wish that I
had never encountered the Internet at all.

You see, I had been quite content to be
ignorant about the state of humanity in the world today.

And – I have to confess, I wish that I had never
been made aware of its depravity –
by giving the Internet ‘a fair chance’.

For some vicious, evil, malignant creature
to tell a woman – the loving mother of a disabled little girl –
that she should have “put your retard down”

… is something that I am just not able to bear.

Should anyone genuinely want to know WHY
a very few people like me, want nothing to do
with the world and its ways — This is the reason.

The comments featured throughout YouTube
are more than sufficient to give the moral temperature
of modern humanity – but this … this …
was infinitely beneath disgusting.

I do not know from where that level of sadistic,
depraved malice comes ( if not from the pit of hell itself )

… but I have certainly noticed an abundance of it
on the Internet.

As I do not want things like this lodged in my memory,
I do not browse the Internet.

And each time I tell myself that it cannot really
be as bad as I remember, I try again –

And find out that … It is.

The Internet has left me bewildered
to realise the hatred that people have
for ANYTHING that represents or requires

… empathy, self control, or moral discernment.

21st Century “Humanity”

Society does not find it shocking
for a 16-year old to copulate like an animal:

But the 19 year old who remains a virgin is … weird.

For a teenage girl to expose breasts, thigh, and midriff,
is “fashionable” …

But the girl who dresses modestly is a “prude”.

And certainly, the whole modern world … KNOWS
( don’t they ?) … that, If a girl or woman is quiet,
ladylike; and consistently seen to be wearing a dress
… she is … “in a religious cult”.

So degraded has the modern mind-set become that,
if a teenager can NOT recite the filthy profanity
or sexually obscene lyrics of the latest “pop” song;

if they read a book, rather than
waste their brains on computer games;

or are raised with family values
and standards of moral restraint,

they are deemed to be “brainwashed” —
“victims” of ‘child abuse’ …
having been denied the “freedom”
to experience modern culture.

“Culture?”

CULTURE ?

A society that is characterised by

greed,
hedonism,
self-centred ambition,
obscene commercialism,
absence of self discipline,
filthy language,
the cinematic glorification of violence, vengeance,
torture and sexual promiscuity as ‘entertainment’ …

… THIS … is … “Culture” ?

This is Moral Degradation – and yet,
because it is the lifestyle of the Majority,
those who exercise self-discipline,
modesty in dress, and moral conduct

… are viewed as being “repressed” –
or even “abused”.

Parents allow their teens to roam the streets
at all hours; or go “clubbing” amidst the depravity
of deafening noise, promiscuous immorality;
and an inherent liquor- and drug-culture …

but think it AB-normal for a teen to attend
a church youth group and be home by ten,
out of respect for their parents’ home,
and efforts made to raise them
to be responsible adults.

As a teenager in the 1970’s,
I was never out past ten o’clock.

Never needed to be.
Never wanted to be.

In excusing the depravity of the 21st century, people exclaim:

“Oh, but, remember when YOU were a teen!”

I do.

Thoughts to a Young Woman

In my own life, I have spent over 50 years
proving the truth of the proverb that,

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast”

and have mentioned to more than a few young women
the fact that they would save themselves a lifetime
of misery and grievous disappointment,

if they would but take the time to look at the way
a ‘boyfriend’ treats the animals
that are dependent upon his care.

Before you commit yourself to any man, woman,
“friend”, or potential business partner,
give them plenty of opportunity … to talk.

And LISTEN to them.

Listen to how they talk about people who are moral,
quiet, and benevolent;
about their own parents;
about their pets, or the livestock on their family farm

… Listen.

And discern the nature of the “tree”

from the “fruit” that it bears.

Where an animal is involved … Look.
Open your eyes.
Observe.
Think about what you see.

Look at the family dog –
is it kept on a chain? a rope?
confined to a doghouse that is damp,
without clean bedding;
or just plain filthy?

Is it thrown into the back of a pickup truck to
– having no grip whatsoever – use balance, if possible,
in order to prevent itself from being thrown about,
or even thrown over the side?

Does the dog noticeably cringe, quiver,
or drop its head when the ‘owner’ approaches;
startle – ‘snap to attention’ – instantly,
whenever he comes near?

One is resigned to a potential beating.

The other agitates to avoid one.

One is timid, defeated.

The other has some will to live still remaining.

People lie.

A dog will not.

To every teenage girl, I would say simply that:

Any man who does not show compassion
for an animal in their care …

… will NEVER show genuine compassion FOR YOU
– no matter how self-deluded you may wish to be.

Many a young woman has said of a savage brute:

“I will change him”.

An illustration:

I will stand on the floor beside a table.
You climb up, and stand upon the table.

Now …

Lift me up to where you are.

Will you succeed?

Perhaps.

But it is most unlikely.

Discerning Danger: The Psychopath

Television – for the past 30 years –
has portrayed the psychopath perfectly:

the only problem is, that in illustrating The Psychopath,
television has presented them as being ‘normal’ or
‘everyday’ people.

No self-restraint.
No objective morality.
No effort to dress, speak, or behave out of respect
to those around them.

Neither discretion or discernment.
No higher purpose in life that to be entertained.
Existing to ‘get’ what they can, with the least amount of work possible.

Their whole existence is about … Me”.

They are so saturated in conceit
that they exalt themselves as an ‘expert’
on the basis of having read a book;
gleaned some minimal experience;
or (heaven help us) watched a video.

They do “good works” or give to some charity
in order to further their own public image;

manipulate those who are trusting or gullible.

They beg charity, plead poverty;
copy and take credit for what others have done,
and prosper off the work or contributions of others.

They have contempt for those who are moral or honest,
and despise the attempts of others
to help or correct themselves.

When ‘caught’ or exposed, the Psychopath always
has a ready excuse: ‘medication’ … ‘mummy didn’t hug me’
… poor neighbourhood … bullying or abuse as a child.

Men and women survive concentration camps,
brutality, and genuine poverty, yet NEVER
commit anything approaching the conscienceless acts
of these vicious, egomaniacal creatures.

They will never say “I am Sorry” …

because it is always the other person’s fault.

For the narcissist, it is always about “Me”.

They have the ability to end a personal relationship in an instant;
Immediately desire revenge if they are withstood or exposed.

They are without conscience:
no remorse, no regret, and certainly
– offer no reparation for the misery they have caused.

They are like the modern Police:

Never Apologise,
Never Explain.

The psychopath gratifies Self in all things.
He will use ANYONE he can find to further his own ends
and serve his own lusts.

And that includes you.

His god – his object of worship – is himself.

Challenge a psychopath in any way,
and they will be rid of you in an instant
– without a shred of guilt or remorse.

You will not make them see … ‘reason’.

They have none.

Everything is subservient to Them …
their Ambition … their Self image.

Evil men delight to degrade and pervert
anything that is Moral.

And that includes you – if you are.

It is a dreadful but true observation that

“… he that departeth from evil
maketh himself a prey.”

Modern multitudes of the 21st century
have no conscience whatsoever about defaming
or destroying anyone who excels them.

“Give me six words” said Richelieu,
“written by the most honourable of men,
and I will find excuse in them
to hang him.”

Beware of anyone who is constantly
prating on about themselves or their endeavours.

This world is full of them.

They are brutal, vicious; loud, and aggressive
… and call it “strength”.

A Self Test

If you cannot find it an easy thing to say

“I’m sorry” to those you have wronged;
“I love you” to parents and elders; or,
“I need your help” when a discernibly capable teacher
is before you,

then perhaps, these thoughts are especially for you ?

I would not like to be a moral, conscientious, young man
or woman starting out in life today,
because there IS No moral centre in the world today.

Young woman,

Be a Lady, rather than an object;
Be a Lady, rather than a pathetic imitation of a ‘macho’ savage.

IF you have a tender heart
and a discerning mind,
they will be the greatest possessions
that you will Ever own.

Never allow them to be taken away from you.

P Livingstone

12. The White Feather

Presumption and Perception.

Created by an Irishman who had ascended
to the rank of Admiral in the Royal Navy,
the White Feather Movement began in 1914
when thirty women were tasked to make it their business
to approach any healthy young man not in uniform,

and hand him a single white feather.

The message was a simple one:

Any man who was given a feather,
was now considered to be a ‘coward’.

It was an utterly ignorant method
intended to compel any and all able-bodied men
to ‘join up’ – or face the ‘fact’
that he was a ‘coward’.

There were men in Britain, at the time,
whose presence ‘at home’
was deemed more important than being
either cannon fodder or gun-toting
political pawns overseas.

Clergymen, veterinarians, and farmers
were amongst those included in a list
of reserved occupations.

Others were men who, were they to be
placed in battle – or even in supplementary roles,
would be more of a detriment to their comrades
than help: those with poor eyesight,
physical infirmity, or congenital defects.

Some … were simply home on ‘leave’.

But to the women of the White Feather Movement,
none of these things mattered.

THEY saw something …

Developed an instant opinion
based upon presumption and wholesale ignorance:

And THAT was all that mattered.

The fact that THEY could possibly be wrong
– never once occurred.

Far easier to degrade people, apparently,
than to consider for a moment,
that they just … might … have a coherent reason
for living quietly, peaceably, and morally;

or for having deeply held, moral convictions
that are different from yours.

Many of the “cowards” in ages past
were those whose genuine moral conscience
moved them to avoid military service

because they did not wish to threaten, intimidate,
or butcher people in foreign lands –
often for no greater reason than serving the mere whim
of grasping politicians, and whatever foreign policy
was instituted to serve … their … political purpose.

More than a few such men were forced to ‘serve’
… and then jailed, shot, or hanged for “treason”
when they could not bring themselves to pull a trigger,
or gun down men, women and children
who had no weapons whatsoever.

They were regarded as cowards
by the great general population
who had neither interest nor moral integrity
to pause, and think, and consider.

Whatever fantasy-fiction was broadcast
in the ‘news’-paper, or on the wireless,
was ‘good enough’ for the mindless multitudes
who believed any and every word
put out by ‘spin doctors’.

[ On a purely personal note –

I would have thought it better (surely?)
to have a willing thug who will
empty his weapon into a human being
without the slightest bit of moral trepidation –

than a man who would actually think about
WHY he is doing what he is doing,
before deciding to snuff out a human life ? ]

The White Feather Movement, certainly,
felt no compunction about publicly degrading
any man – based purely on Ignorant Presumption.

Perception: Wilful Delusion

There is something about slaughtering people
( whether literally, or vicariously )
that appeals to those who are ruthless, vicious;

or hold that they above all others on the earth,
deserve to live as they wish.

And any fiction that reflects that capacity,
is embraced with unthinking enthusiasm.

My chief interest in life – merely because it is
the last culture on earth that reflects my values
and way of living – is traditional Japanese culture.

Once familiar with (any) culture, it is a simple matter
to see the effects of either ignorance of it,
or contempt for it –
that is held by people in ‘western’ parts of the world.

In the thug mentality of the modern world,
there is much fanfare about ‘Bushido’
– the way of a ‘warrior’.

In 1905, Japanese politician Inazo Nitobe
wrote a very well-crafted book
in response to an American query
about how the Japanese nation
could possibly be so civilised
without having the Bible
as its central feature for moral living.

Nitobe died in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1933,
but his book was arguably “The Book”
that stimulated interest in oriental thought
in the western world.

He wrote very eloquently and presented his thoughts
upon a Japanese code of moral principles – “Bushido”,
a spirit of Self Sacrifice as a [ Note ! ] COMMON
standard of behaviour for people in his nation.

A hundred and ten years later, the common ‘standard’
of the masses in ‘Western Society’ is – observably,
the spewing of malice, ridicule, and obscenity;

amidst which, ANY demonstration of manners
renders one ( my brother and I have found from repeated
personal experience) an object of bewilderment
to what now passes for “men”,

and a source of pleasant curiosity for women who are –
clearly, unfamiliar with the experience of genteel courtesy.

A tragedy indeed as the ever-dwindling remnant
of gentle people who remain on this earth,
deserve far better than the brash selfishness and profanity
that they receive at the hands and mouths
of multitudes today.

Whether fanciful, romantic representation or not,
for Nitobe, ‘Bushido’ comprised qualities of …
Composure in times of danger or calamity;
Contemplation, in order to attain heights of considered
thought that could not easily be described; and the
Sympathetic regard for the feelings of others –

this last, a concept that is continually advocated
throughout this Internet site.

The cultivation of tender feelings,
( I have continually endeavoured to assert ) WILL
foster a regard – thoughtfulness – for the suffering
and anguish of others who genuinely are in distress.

( Sadly – given the silence in the comments section
of this Internet site, my hope to raise awareness
of tender feelings, was an absurd hope indeed. )

Modesty and Respect for Others, Nitobe maintained,
are at the root of … Politeness.

Modesty.
Respect for Others.
Politeness.

Three qualities that are all but absent
from the Internet,
and western society at large.

This code of Bushido [ Mandarin: wǔ shì dào]
is now applied to the Samurai –
as is the notion of ‘chivalry’
to the mediaeval Knights;

or the modern trend of seeing ‘honour’
in anyone wearing a uniform –
by those who seem captivated
with the glorification of macho ferocity.

It is a perception that is based on fairy-tale illusion:
a romantic fantasy that, in any age, rarely applies.

Samurai was a class into which one was born; (or,
on occasion, to which one could be upgraded
by bringing the heads of many opponents in battle
and thus, being awarded land.)

The Samurai were land-owners who were ‘on call’
to go to battle the moment they were needed.

More than just military thugs, many would be familiar
with subjects such as art and Calligraphy;
and had ( think “officers”) servants who attended them,
both at home and on the battlefield.

Samurai who, for whatever reason,
had lost their employment, would travel
from place to place in search of a new lord
and a steady pay-cheque.

These were known as ろうにん – “rounin” [ ‘ronin’ ]
or, ろうし – “roushi” … the image was of men
who drifted about like flotsam on a wave.

Re-employment for such men required the approval
of a previous lord; in the interim,
they would take sporadic employment as,
for example, “bodyguards” … to anyone.

Fully employed, or seeking work, the supreme
characteristic of the Samurai was … implicit obedience
to whomever paid him.

What seems to be ignored by those who consider
such men to be ‘honourable’,
is the plain fact that a Samurai would murder anyone
if his ‘lord’ told him to do so.

Multiple Samurai murdering a lone man
was considered ‘honourable’ because
– blind, amoral allegiance ( think modern ‘military’ ) –
they had obeyed their lord.

Implicit, unthinking obedience to “orders”.

The Samurai wanted reputation, and pay.
If that meant cutting you, me, him, or her down
for no other reason than that his lord
directed him to do so … that was all the reason
a Samurai required.

To see ANY “moral code” to that mentality is
– for me, perverted; and impossible to understand.

Yet multitudes – clearly – insist upon holding perceptions
of people, because it appeals to their fanciful ideas,
or lends credence to their own unprincipled nature.

Those who insist upon seeing ‘honour’ in killers
reveal a great deal
about their own standard of morality.

People believe and act – without being able
to provide a coherent reason why.

To see the Samurai as some principled warrior,
who exercised ‘noble’ characteristics … before
brutally cutting someone down for no other reason
than that he was ordered to do so …?

Honestly now.

I have learned ( last year ) that to go into a shop
with the intent of giving the owner one’s business ( and money )
actually permits one to be called a thief, and summarily
escorted from the shop because I refused to accept
the insulting degradation of my character
in having to leave my bag ‘at the front’.

In 1875, the crew of HMS Challenger
were plumbing the depths of what was known to be
the deepest part of the ocean …
until the line they had been using, suddenly ran out,
and more line had to be added … and added … and added.

They had discovered the Marianas Trench.

I, too, have discovered new depths … in modern humanity.

To live a life – to have used the time given me in this life
to no higher purpose than to seek almost constantly
to be entertained, gratify my conceit, and live vicariously
through family, children, ‘friends’, and possessions …

would be ( for me ) to have utterly wasted my life.

Such a self-serving existence would, on my deathbed,
fill me with shame and regret.

I had learned early in life that IF ANY fashion, trend,
teaching, ‘teacher’, or personality
is POPULAR with the vast majority of people,
it, he, or she – should be treated with Extreme Caution.

The White Feather signified “cowardice”
in those who did not deserve it.

Perception makes heroes and villains

of those

who are neither.

It has been truly astounding to see the ease
and willingness with which people will believe Anything
that is presented to them on television, cinema, and the Internet.

And deeply disturbing to realise the readiness of people
to debase someone without so much as pausing to consider
that – THEY – Just Might be the ones who are wrong.

Nor are such individuals troubled about the cost
to a man’s name or reputation … if they are.

Malicious men and women are so resentful
or unable to bear the moral efforts of others,
that they cannot endure the thought
that anyone should outshine them –

and so, are ever seeking to drag others
down to the gutter with themselves.

Others feel the need to ruin the work
of anyone who possesses the diligence, the skill;
and makes the effort
to do what they will not.

It is merely a suggestion, of course, but –

When hearing of the perceived faults
of any man or woman,
look at what They have said;
and, most particularly, what They have done,

And not what Others

have said about them.

P Livingstone

13. The Farce of Animal “Rescue” – (Part 1) … The Tender Mercies of the Wicked

Whilst working for an animal “rescue” organisation,
I responded to a telephone complaint of cruelty
in which (the caller stated) a dog had been injured,
but whose owners refused to take it to a veterinarian.

Calling at the luxurious – opulent, luxurious – house,
an older, overweight dog could be seen limping inside.

The woman told me that her husband …

“would not spend money on an animal”.

And then she told me why.

Over the course of a few days, the woman
(under threat of charges of cruelty by neglect)
was obliged to surrender the dog to the SPCA.

X-rays revealed that the limp was from a fractured leg
that had never been treated.

With the animal in considerable pain, it had ‘healed’ over time:

and now, there was nothing more that could be done.

“Well, I will just take the dog back home now” I said
to my boss.

“You will not!” she said.
That dog is not going back to those people.”

That statement haunts me to this day as that “Rescue Society”
refused to return the dog to its plush-carpeted home –
albeit with callous people;
and instead, placed it in a concrete box
without toys or any type of mental stimulation.

The shock, the incredulity, the inability to comprehend –
that must have been going through that poor animal’s mind
torments me to this very day.

I sicken inwardly, to recall the one time when the family
and their lawyer, arrived at the SPCA to argue (fruitlessly)
for their dog to be returned.

The dog was in what passes for a “kennel”
at these places and, upon seeing the family
emerge from their car in the parking lot,
limped quickly to the end of the stark concrete ‘run’ – and,
at the chain-link gate, gave a little hop with clearly visible glee
at the very sight of them.

I will never forget its utter dejection as they finally
had to walk away again, and leave him in the cold isolation
of that concrete confinement.

Within two weeks, I was no longer
in the employ of the SPCA.

The realisation that … I … had put him there
has haunted me these ten years;
and I wake at times, overcome with guilt and despair
that I had been the one to have taken the dog
from that opulent home.

I never would have guessed that – when the injury
was revealed to be years old – that dog would not
be allowed to return to its comfort;
but had to spend its life in the solitary confinement
of that horrible concrete box.

( The dog, I would later find from their Internet Site,
spent ten months in that disgusting box that the SPCA
dares to call a ‘kennel’, before it was ‘fostered’.

Had he not been, I was prepared to write a letter begging
to be allowed to adopt him – although certain
that those people would do me no favours. )

I had quit, in vocal disgust via letter,
at the apathy that was daily exhibited
by those who call themselves a rescue society.

After 12 weeks, that tragic dog had been
the last travesty that I could take from the ‘SPCA’ –
Cruelty from owners; cruelty from “rescuers” …
and the animal left to exist in misery either way.

It would have been far better for me to have left the dog
in the opulence of that luxury house,
rather than have it tormented
in the misery of an SPCA … “kennel”.

I despise myself today, at my own wilful ‘blindness’
in being ‘caught up’ in “the work” of animal rescue.

I simply never thought that they would refuse to return the dog,
once it was revealed that the injury was so old.

The unavoidable confusion of that affectionate dog
– to wonder what it had done wrong
to deserve to be put in concrete isolation –
will afflict me and prey upon my conscience,
until the day I die.

That had been the first and only time
that I have encountered cruelty from neglect,
amongst people who lived in wealth and luxury.

It was the first time I had encountered the Mormons.

Mormons ( it seems ) maintain that an animal is to serve man;
which means – to minds that are brutal and callous enough –
that, Mormons …

… do not have to provide medical care to any poor animal
that is cursed enough to find itself in their … “care”.

The old proverb could not be any more direct:

“A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast;
but the tender mercies of the wicked, are cruel.”

Arriving on this side of the Atlantic a few years ago,
I took work with the SPCA, driving and investigating
various complaints made by the public.

But it was when in the office, that I became
filled with trepidation that all was not “as it seemed”
at this SPCA.

I frequently overheard conversations
between staff and people who came in to adopt animals
– only to be told that there were none
matching the description that they were seeking.

This – I knew – was a lie.

The staff of two women (my own age) were, it seemed evident,
far too filled with a sense of their own self-importance
and decision-making ‘power’ over others;
and quite enjoyed making instant judgments
upon whomever entered the premises.

The most mind-wracking, prolonged abuse
that I have ever seen with my eyes,
was in witnessing the existence of dogs
who have been “rescued” from abusive homes

– to be then put into confinement without bed or toys,
in those concrete boxes
which were outrageously termed “kennels”.

Here, the animal existed with absolutely
NO mental stimulation, for 23 hours a day
– their only relief being IF a dog-walker
happened to choose them for a walk that day.

Concrete walls, concrete floor, no view,
save that of the mentally-tortured animal
in the “kennel” opposite.

It drove me to despair: seeing the lacklustre eyes,
the constant look of defeat: of being past all hope.

And here were the two women on staff
telling people that there were no animals for adoption.

The contempt held by those ‘in office’ was unbelievable:

One Friday afternoon, an older couple
had managed to adopt a dog … only to return
on Monday morning – their faces stained with tears,
and red from crying:

they were here to bring the dog back.

For two days, the dog – now freed from its
mind-altering confinement, and overwhelmed with sights
and sounds – had run rampant in their house,
finally jumping through the glass window
of their living room.

Heartbroken, they had to admit
that they could not keep the dog.

With barely concealed derision, the woman behind the counter
– my … “colleague” … officiously got the adoption papers
and impatiently scribbled on them.

As the distraught couple tearfully left the office,
the woman huffed loudly, turned to her co-worker and said:
“WHAT were we thinking, ever imaging that people like THAT
could handle a dog?!!”

I was disgusted: fuming – and let them know it.
“At least, they TRIED to do something kind”, I said.

The pair of them looked at me and sighed audibly
with evident disgust.

Running down to the parking lot,
I thanked the couple for doing their very best;
hugged them both; and wished them well.

Bringing the matter up to the manager
only made it plain that nothing would be done:
It was me – and not the staff – who was seen as
the one “with a problem”.

A letter, then sent to Head Office,
resulted in an official memo being sent
to my boss, directing her to inform me that
… ‘tell him his last day will be May 4th.’

When it is a crime to speak the truth;
when any business, organisation, or nation
regards moral decency … as treason;

when one can be punished for questioning lies,
corruption, treachery – then that society
( whatever else it may pretend )
is a totalitarian regime.

And folk such as me,
will find no home

in such a place.

14. The Farce of Animal “Rescue” – (Part 2) … Ginger

Margaret and “Ginger”

The only good thing that came out of my three months
as an employee of that animal “protection” organisation,
was when a retired teacher – a woman named Margaret –
came in to adopt a dog.

She was sent out of the office having being told
that there were no dogs matching the description
of what she was ‘looking for’.

I had heard it before.

Literally.
Like a script.

And I could take no more.

I ran after the lady in the parking lot;
told her that I was ‘through’, and told her about “Ginger”
– a Golden Retriever who had her single barred door
covered with a piece of plywood because she barked
and lunged at dogs being led in and out
when their kennels were being hosed out.

“She’s crazy” said the man in charge of the kennels.

A dog confined in a concrete box
for 23 hours every day –

no bed, no toys, no company,
no window to the outside world;
no mental stimulation at all –

Yes ! – I am certain that she WAS indeed crazy.

I am certain most of the other 20 or so dogs were as well.

I went in to the kennel, pulled on the rope that lifted
the wooden hatch-cover, and let Ginger out to the ‘viewing’ run
where visitors were able to see the animal.

I told Margaret about Ginger’s … “life”.

And if ever I wanted to take a woman in my arms
and embrace her, it was then.

The lady’s face set in a mask of resolution: she turned,
marched back up the stairs and (must have!) demanded
to be allowed to adopt Ginger.

A half hour later, Ginger was in the back of Margaret’s car.

And my days were numbered.

I was despised by staff, volunteer dog-walkers,
and agency ‘hangers-on’. Sarcastic quips and ‘cold shoulder’
animosity was absolutely dripping off me.

Not a second of thought that there just … Might
have been something in what I was saying;
Only that I had ‘stepped on’ monstrous staff conceit.

Which was precisely what I had been specifically
warned about by the manager during my job interview,
twelve weeks earlier.

That same manager that hired me, had just accepted
a new position elsewhere in the organisation.
‘Wash your hands of the whole thing’, I suppose.

I left that animal “welfare” agency knowing that I helped one,
but left 20 others to continue their existence
of solitary confinement in concrete isolation.

I cannot adequately express
how much it torments me to this day.

I went to visit Ginger and Margaret at her beautiful country home
– five acres of shrubs, plants, and an enormous ‘pond’
that was nothing less than a small lake.

Margaret ran it as a Japanese-themed,
Bed and Breakfast enterprise.

THIS was Ginger’s new home.

But, you see, this one bit of happiness does not end there.

One day, a ‘jogger’ passing by Margaret’s acreage,
made a call to the police … A dog had “attacked” her.
A Golden Retriever had jumped up on her
as she was running past its house.

Yes … Ginger had “attacked” me, too – just the same way
when I was still at the SPCA; every morning with joy
and excitement at having contact with a human being
who hugged her, caressed her; and just showed her some attention.

What Ginger could not know, was that not everyone
was like that Irishman.

Margaret was given a legal Order … and Ginger
– a rescue dog on a ‘second chance’ – was ‘put down’.

She had known kindness and comfort for two years –

before some self-venerating yuppie decided that her ‘personal space’
being invaded by an exuberant dog – was an intrusion upon her ‘rights’
… and constituted an “attack”.

The 21st century mentality:
the whole world revolves around Me.

Self. Vanity. Ego.

The religion of the Modern Age.

Animals suffer.
People suffer.

And, in this case, a dog was killed.

For

Being

Happy.

I went to visit Margaret one January afternoon:
highly embarrassed at not having telephoned first,
but confident that she and I had been
‘made from the same mould’ –
and she would not mind my unannounced visit.

Ringing the front bell, I was surprised when the door
was opened … by a young, 30-something woman.
I babbled some explanation of who I was,
and asked if Margaret was home.

The woman invited me to come in.
And told me that she would be right back.

I could hear voices.

A lot of voices.

The house was full of people.

After a few moments, the young woman came back
… with another lady.

I introduced myself once again,
and explained that I was here to see …

And then the lady spoke.

“I have been sick” she said,
“And my family are all here to … discuss … things.”

It was Margaret.

I would not have recognised her.

Tears formed in my eyes – I could not speak.
Words – would not come out.

She leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.
I slowly turned – stupid, dazed – and then, looked back
as Margaret shuffled back to the sitting room.

The young woman had opened the front door,
and thanked me for coming to see her mother.

The door closed.
And I was alone.

I thought of Ginger.

I thought of those arrogant women
who refused to allow that lady to adopt a dog.

And of how she refused to be bullied
by domineering tyrants.

As I walked up the little dirt trail from her front door,
to the wooded area where the car was parked,

I looked at the grounds … the trees …
the forest of rhododendrons … and the path that I last saw
when Ginger was bounding to meet me.

A tear fell from my eye.

Margaret DeWitt died on the 13th of April 2012.

She was my hero – a woman filled with compassion,
common sense; conscience, and courtesy.

Qualities that now barely exist in the world.

A caring, compassionate, no-nonsense lady
… was dead.

And mindless bureaucratic minions were still
wallowing in their authority: dictating bureaucracy
– rather than moral decency.

“The wicked walk on every side
when the vilest men are exalted.”

“… the tender mercies of the wicked,
are cruel.”

P Livingstone