Gosh, I am exhausted just thinking about this! I went to bed, last night, dwelling on yesterday’s post and wondering whether my last paragraph on the NHS and the viral dance videos would be interpreted as was intended; although, how was it intended? I have spent precious time trying to formulate my thoughts and ascertain my stance on the current situation, perhaps, scarily, nervous of offending! I am ashamed to admit that but, then, it is hard to escape the brainwashing or develop immunity, in this digital age, to the over-zealous political correctness which one is dared to ignore at one’s peril.
I have so many thoughts going through my head but, first of all, whilst I re-iterate my admiration and appreciation for the NHS and all frontline workers, I stand by my views on these ridiculous dance routines! I am looking for the right word, here, aware, all the while, of ‘The Voice in My Head ‘, as in Pop. Dignity. That’s the word I am looking for. They lack dignity. I find the whole thing ‘tacky’ but then, again, most do not. Each to his own.
In attempting to find the root of my intolerance of all things ‘tacky’, I believe it is inherent in my character. I would never consider myself a rule-breaker, with the exception of a memorable incident at school when, in order to prevent us putting our hands in the pockets or our delightful brown tweed coats, we were, all, instructed to sew up said pockets. Head of House, at the time – and, clearly, a rebel with a cause – I chose to use luminous pink thread for my needlework. Our Housemistress, Miss Miller – or ‘Smeller’, as we affectionately called her – almost self-combusted! (Funnily enough, amongst the pile of letters and cards I found yesterday, there was a note from my friend, Fat Mo, recalling that very incident and reminding me of how Smeller blamed us for her introduction to tranquillisers!).
A rule-breaker? Not so much. One to follow the crowd? Not a hope in hell! Somehow, the crowd never seem to be going my way … It’s not a trait which I have consciously chosen; rather, one which is innate. I suppose it comes down to self-belief, something which I consider invaluable. I have never been afraid to stand alone or to voice my opinions. However, I do so with integrity not grievance. Thrawn by nature, I have always preferred to make up my own mind; follow my own instincts but the individual is becoming increasingly alien in today’s world which encourages uniformity and acquiescence; the crowd mentality. So it is that, in these unprecedented circumstances, unwittingly, we have all become puppets awaiting the next instruction. Clap for Carers on a Thursday at 8! I have done, in the past, but it didn’t come naturally to me. Standing on the doorstep checking to see who else is doing the same? That’s not me. My appreciation of the NHS is subject to no instruction and requires no collective endorsement. A little like the age-old church debate. Growing up in a small town, one’s absence was noted if one did not attend the Sunday service. One had to be seen and most were there for that reason. I smile when I remember the stir our family used to cause as we, inevitably, arrived late and then proceeded to catch the giggles. Far from indoctrinated, I have never subscribed to the idea that only one’s attendance at church validates a belief in God. Surely, God is everywhere! Then, again, harks back to the same old aversion to regimentation.
I think I should mention, here, a lasting impact on my impression of the NHS. I grew up in the 60s and 70s with a father who was a Consultant Psychiatrist. Psychiatry had a human face in these days as, I suppose, did the NHS in general. He loved his job; thrived on it and he saw all his patients, personally. No routine delegation, he was there from start to finish. Nothing stays the same, however, and the passing of time saw the NHS increasingly infiltrated by the equivalent of Dr Who’s Klingons! The educated became answerable to the uneducated and, unable to submit to such a regime, at 60 years-old, Pop took early retirement. The end of an era. To a very minor degree, I, too, bore witness to the detrimental introduction of management to the NHS. Poles apart, that’s all I shall say. Now, there is no turning back and, in the last years of his life, Pop suffered at the hands of a very different organisation. The personal touch long gone, he was a number and completely dispensable. Unforgiveable for one who gave so much,
Not inclined to worship the NHS, then, and worship is very much the order of the day. The word ‘hero’ is synonymous with all who are a part, and, for many, deservedly so but enough! Every minute of every day? Every news bulletin, everydedication on the radio? It is, as I have said before, tantamount to scaremongering. A constant reminder of one’s possible fate should one disobey! People are terrified. Forget the relaxation of lockdown, many will never put a foot outside their door! It is too much. It is brainwashing. Yes, the NHS and those on the frontline, at this time, are deserving of praise but we know that. Now, less of the indoctrination which, in the end, can only be detrimental to any return to normality.
On the subject of worship, I don’t remember ever clapping for our military; for those who have served their country in battle or war zones paying the ultimate sacrifice? They are true heroes deserving of every accolade. Remembrance Sunday? One day. Funny, too, I remember little coverage devoted to the shortages of protective equipment with which our forces on the front line must deal? No clapping, no heroes’ welcome for the maimed, mentally as well as physically, who return from battle. No justice. Watching the entire Downton Abbey in lockdown serves, only, to make it all the more pertinent.
Phew! Quite cathartic. At least I understand where I’m coming from even if nobody else does …
‘In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.’ Oscar Wilde.
This is Trish, signing off.