before I begin

Life is too short to live behind lies

Monday, 27 September 2010

silence and things

I went walking with my dogs yesterday. I often walk along a  route called the 'comber greenway' . This is an old disused railway track which has been made into a pathway. There are steep grass banks on either side and the only view to the distance is  forwards towards the winding track as it disappears like a ribbon into the distance.

Yesterday was a beautiful warm autumn morning. Absolutely still. Fallen leaves lay unmoved on the ground and the sunlight cut sharp long shadows across the ground.

Most dramatic of all however was the silence. It was so quiet that I became aware of the sound of my own breath and the flicking of my shoe laces with each step. I also became aware of how rare this experience is. How often is the loudest sound we hear our own breath? Not often enough!

This morning I hear on the news that the government is considering the possibility of paying people to lose weight and quit smoking in order to save the health service money in the long run.
I must say this saddens me. Not just because I am not convinced that it WOULD save money ( consider the cost of monitoring the system not to mention the abuse and deception it may be open to ) but because it seems so sad that here we are  considering giving money to people to adjust a lifestyle born of a greed driven society when across the world children die by the second from starvation.

I do sympathise with those who have lost control due to addiction but I'm not sure that simply paying them will change the fundamental issues in their lives which created the addiction to food or nicotine. I do also appreciate how much it is costing society to deal with wieght related health issues. I just wonder if the desire to save government funds is itself slighty selfish. If this country did save money by getting people to stop smoking and lose weight..where would that money go?..would it really go back into the health service..? I have my doubts. I dont trust most givernments.

I wonder would it be an idea to pay for overweight smokers to go to third world countries for a year and work with the people there. This would not only help their health ( certainly avoid fatty diets) at the same time  contribute to those who have little or no food. Most of all it may provide an eye opening experience which might help put our greedy society into context.

It may seem an unusual or extreme suggestion but  it may be a way of helping both groups of people.

1 comment:

  1. Silence is one of the main reasons I would never move permanently to a town or city. The couple of years I spent, first in the suburb of Llandudno and then in Lancaster, made it quite clear to me that I value the silence we have down here more than most things in life. (That and being able to see the stars at night)

    I can't imagine that money would help either of those matters. Take smoking - lack of money (and what my gran would have said!) was what made me quit - if someone had offered me money... But also, money does not solve all ills. Or as the old adage goes; money can't buy you everything. Equally, there is an argument that says obesity is partly the result of bad money management - buying microwave meals under the assumption that they in some way save enough time and effort that they are therefore value for money. So more money would just lead to more convenience related food and lifestyle choices - whereas actually, cooking from scratch is cheaper and healthier - as is walking to the shop, rather than driving/taking the bus.

    Unusual/extreme suggestions are often the ones that would work best - but do you see our government taking it on? They would probably make some argument that it would infringe on the people's rights... (I'm not sure how, mind.)