The first day of the year, so my wife hung up a new calendar. You know the type: big glossy picture on top and the dates beneath. I happen to like calendars but I have never really thought about the pictures before.
This month’s illustration was of a huge country house down in Herefordshire in England. There is no doubt it is a lovely building surrounded by beautiful grounds, but the reason for its existence and the power by which it was maintained tend to remove the gloss. This magnificent building was created as the home – 0ne home – for a single family who were looked after by a small army of servants drawn from the so called ‘lower orders.’
The class system, whereby one group of society literally lorded it over all others purely by virtue of birth. What a foul system of established inequality, and yet it still exists to some extent or another in many if not most countries in the world. Money, privilege, rank – among people or nations – what a sick concept when so many millions of people throughout the world are living on the cusp of desperate poverty.
This is 2015; have we not advanced beyond greed as a motivation for living? This world has enough resources to give everybody a decent quality of life, yet it is so unfairly divided that a very few have far more than many millions. I am not advocating any ‘ism’ as a quick fix, but I do think that we should all look at ourselves in this new year and try to advocate some more equality among our fellow humans.
Our shared heritage of care, concern and mutual aid in times of crisis should be lauded and celebrated. Anything divisive should most definitely not.