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We are unaware of how propitious are the circumstances!

Ray Petersen
Ray Petersen

Or to put it another way: We just don’t know how lucky we are! Like everyone, I dream of financial security, of not having to worry about paying for ‘things,’ and generally I see it as my own fault.

I have always preferred to ‘live in the moment,’ which is great when you are ‘in the moment,’ but maybe not so great when you’ve got to pay for it! I haven’t saved enough towards the unemployed term of my life, and that’s something I have to come to terms with everyday. I’m not bitter about it, but I am frustrated by my inability to listen instead of speaking at the right time, because at no time did I ever lack someone telling me that I must save! Whether it was Grandad and Grandma, Mum or Dad, there was always someone pushing the

savings mantra I simply never recognised how lucky I was.

I have been unwise, but what of those who have no money, no home, no water, no food and no prospects, either of education or long life, by dint of where they were born, their society and their circumstances.

Do you think they regret their circumstances, and their inability to respond to the many challenges of their environment? I’m sure they do, but I’m not certain that the solutions were ever in their hands, and that’s a significant difference. I’m not sure that those stuck in that ‘hamster wheel’ existence of true poverty and conflict ever consider how lucky they are.

The management team at the top of the collapsed tourism operators Thomas Cook, however, were very aware of how propitious were their circumstances, as on top of seven digit salaries that make your eyes water, they gave themselves multi-million pound ‘performance bonuses,’ totalling in excess of twenty million pounds across the last five years while their company continued an inexorable slide towards its failure last week, stranding hundreds of thousands of their clients far from home.

And the absolute arrogance of taking people’s money ‘knowing’ they would be stranded is appalling! Yes. They certainly know how ‘lucky’ they are! French novelist Honore de Balzac said, “Behind every great fortune is a great

crime,” laying bare situations of extreme wealth, for what?

Because they invent something? Yes, that’s the price of progress. Because they entertain us? Okay, I can live with that. Because they look good? That’s so shallow! (See also, Internet influencers). Because they manipulated stocks and shares, interest rates, mortgage rates, or foreign exchange transactions? (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, go thousands of ‘bankers,’ around the world). Because they sold arms to both sides of an international conflict? (Clevvvvvvverrrrrrr, they say.) Because they sold illicit drugs to weak, lost, kids, setting them on a slippery slope? (There is no redemption for these!).

Because they were born into wealth and are entitled to it? Well, these are the only ones I can’t be too critical of, for they know of no other way. They should open their eyes, but the cash cow, or the gift horse, is a difficult thing to get rid of. And no, I doubt that few of them would ever consider how lucky they are.

So what’s the answer? Take a lottery ticket? Well, not here obviously, though a touch of luck at my bank’s monthly draw might be nice.

The reality is that until the immensely wealthy 1 per cent or whatever it is can value their achievements in a humanitarian sense, and value the lives of those they have a responsibility to, little will change, and they will still never know how lucky they really are.

petersen_ray@hotmail.com -

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