Tag: NON

Importance of being happy

Like most people over the years the things that I value, the things that make me happy, have changed. Despite appearances to the contrary here — specifically my gadget lust — I’m not particularly materialistic these days. I used to be much MUCH worse.

Whilst I was never particularly fussy about labels, I was certainly fussy if things weren’t of a certain standard. The phrase “you get what you pay for” is fairly key to this, and whilst I still hold it true, I’m not half as fussy as I was even a few years ago. Or am I? Thinking about it, it might be that I’ve lowered my expectations, decided that I can “put up with” things of lower quality as they are cheaper and easier to replace?

Is it false economy to live this way? To evaluate things, and issues, and assign them a minimum value below which I won’t stoop, but above which I find myself uncomfortable? The expectation when you pay top dollar for something is that you receive top dollar quality. As this hasn’t always been true in the past I no longer stick rigidly to this maxim… but I digress. Quite badly as it turns out.

Because I don’t want to talk about things. I want to talk about feelings, emotions, connections, and other wispy, ethereal items that are hard to tie down, hard to define, but which are becoming more and more important to me.

Thing is, by their very nature, they are hard to discuss. An example in the form of a question then: How much of the value you place on your workplace comes from the NON-work side of things? The social interaction, location, etc etc..

If you asked me that a few years ago I’d probably have said that it wasn’t hugely important. These days, particularly looking back over the past couple of years, I have to admit it’s a lot more important to me now.

Another example, if you’ll indulge me, which would you prefer – £1,000 to spend in (and only in) your favourite shop, or day out with all of your closest friends?

Such are the quandaries of life, and I reckon most of you will choose the latter. But THAT means you are putting a value on you friendships? No?

Hmmm I’m losing my train of thought on this one… over to you lot… if you’re not too busy “pondering” and “daydreaming” that is…

Lethal Force Knee-Jerk

The news that Strathclyde Police Force has introduced Taser stun-guns has already sparked the usual round of “letters to the editor” stating various figures about how many people have died in the USA since these guns were introduced over there.

Personally, as a supporter of Amnesty International, I find myself torn on this issue.

On one hand there is evidence that these stun-guns can kill. That is a lot more than they are supposed to do, and there are calls for more rigorous testing before Tasers are rolled out across all the police forces in the country.

On the other hand these stun-guns are designed as a last-ditch option, so for a percentage of their use they will be aimed at criminals, people offering deadly harm to others. My sympathy level always drops in these cases.

On, um, a hand belonging to someone else the recent shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes proves that mistakes can be made but I would suggest that, in you consider the NON-mortality rate of the stun-gun, it would be a better option than a gun.

Of course these kinds of things are always going to spark debate (ouch), and as ever the knee-jerk reaction is the most worrying thing. We are becoming an increasingly reactionary society, already playing the blame game, pre-judging events that have yet to happen. Some people are suggesting that the police will just forget about their batons and use tasers instead and whilst this suggestion does irk, it also invokes images of Indiana Jones style scenes where they calmly ‘taser’ the onrushing ned and his chib*.

The world we live in is not ideal, I’ve mentioned before that there seems to be a lack of respect, a lack of discipline in some areas of society. We should be helping those areas by providing funds where needed, helping with education and supporting the families until they are in a position to help others. I truly believe that.

However the smallest subsection of society (of humanity?) is happy to take take take. They don’t want educated, they don’t want supported, they want what they want and they don’t care who gets in their road. For THOSE people, I say Taser them if required. Harsh? Yes. Just like life.