Try thinking

Life’s a bag of shite and then you die. I wonder how many times you’ve heard that.

One of my mates even goes a bit further. He says you’re dead lucky to get the bag with it.

Well anyway. I was walking past a church close to where I live a few months back and I saw they’d put up a banner that reads Try Praying. Turned out that the slogan had been thought up by some folk near me. So I thought I might give it a go. After all, times are pretty rough for loads of people round here, not just myself.

To go with story by Alex Watson. David Knight column Picture shows; Try Praying banner outside church. Edinburgh, Scotland. Supplied by Serge Cornu/Shutterstock Date; 2020

It was a well-produced banner too, and hanging outside quite a nice building that gets a modest amount of footfall of a Sunday. Not as much as the boozer down the road but that’s another matter

So for a while I gave it my best shot. I dredged up a few phrases that I remember from my schooldays and even threw in a few of my own making. I didn’t ask for anything for myself, mind, I wasn’t after a 49-inch telly or a big house. Just general things like world peace and an end to hunger and poverty, the type of thing that all the religion bigwigs like the Pope and the Dalai Lama bang on about.

If you’ve seen the news recently, you’ll know how effective my praying was… because bugger all happened.

My mates said I shouldn’t have expected anything else. Things are as they are because that’s how they are, that’s life so stop your whingeing.

I can understand how easy it is to go along with that attitude – there’s so much stuff in the world that looks so complicated that you don’t even want to try to get your head around it.

But I’m not giving up that easily. I reckon things can be changed. I’m even tempted to put up my own banner outside my house, one that reads Try Thinking.

Now, I reckon there’s a good chance that like the vast majority of people on this planet, me included, you chose to be born in the wrong bed. Now I don’t necessarily mean that your family was really skint, although that could be true as well, I mean a family that has to work to earn a living. If you did, that was a crucial mistake. It probably means that you’re going to be a human resource, lumbered with boring work/unemployment/zero-hours contracts/insecure tenancies or stranglehold mortgages – I could go on but you know what I’m talking about – that bag of shite I mentioned just now.

Consider this for a moment, will you? All around the world, most real wealth is in the hands of an increasingly small minority. And what do they do with that wealth? First answer, they make damn sure that they keep their mitts firmly on it, and out of your reach. And who can blame them?

But that’s not the issue – the important thing is the effect of their ownership or control on production. It means that, by and large things are only ever made if there is a potential for profit. Seems crazy, but the latest fashion wasn’t produced to make you look fabulous, it was made by a human resource working in some crap-hole, maybe Leicester, maybe Vietnam, so that an employer can make some brass by flogging it on to you. Now producing for profit has all sorts of insane results. One of its minor faults is that it buggers up the planet – you know all that – if you don’t, go on Google. And every so often…. the markets come grinding to a halt and loads of people end up out of a job.

And you must have heard the joke about there being too much month at the end of the money. Producing for profit relies on keeping us not quite so skint that we can’t manage to go back into work next week, and skint enough to ensure that we bloody well do go back.

And then the sort of stuff that we can afford out of our wages is designed down to a price so it usually turns out to be a load of tat anyway, soon to be binned or fobbed off on a charity shop. Well, that’s what real life is like for us human resources.

There’s nothing natural about a situation where a minority can live it up while the rest of us just scrape by. This may have been going on for many years but there is no physical law that says that society has to be this way. The fact is that there is no longer any need for the capitalist system that has now taken over almost the entire world. My mates are wrong, change can happen, but it needs you and your mates to make it happen.


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