This happens to me every time I go on holiday. I remember what it was like for me and my wife between 1999 and 2003. We lived in Spain at the time. Unemployed but working hard to become self-employed. Bringing up our children in a beautiful city. More or less, fairly enjoying every minute.
Every time I come back to this city, I remember how good life can be. Is it selfish of me, then, to give in to the temptations of good food and sangria and proper coffee and sobaos and all those details of a life correctly lived? Is it so very wrong for me to leave behind the horrors of Coalition Britain as I escape to a health-engendering climate? Must I carry around with me wherever I go the terrors of injustice and miserable politics?
And if the answer is no to all these questions, at least whilst I find myself on holiday, what about when I return to my country of work?
How, in truth, and in the face of such horrible leaders, can I safely maintain my societal anger without forgetting how to fully live my life?
Yes. There are many battles to be fought and I want to be involved in some of them. But choosing which to fight and which to retire from seems almost impossible these days. Our society is becoming evermore paranoid – everything is part of everything else.
Is that what defines a successful latterday politician? He or she who is most capable of generating paranoia in their voters?
I don’t want to live a life where I must look over my shoulder. Most people I meet aren’t like that either. Why – then – can’t our public spaces mimic better our private experiences? Why – in fact – can’t we learn to start living before we get angry?
Aren’t we simply giving in to the demands of these terrible politicos – as they define the tragedies that are our modern miserable perceptions? For it is they who turn us into unhappy over-the-shoulder-glancing people. It is they who turn us into the cattle which can be controlled with a simple whack of a stick.
We need to remain in touch with our anger and learn how to channel it assertively, that is true. But not at the expense of loving our own right to be happy.
If all I need in order to feel at peace with my world is a week in Spain with real coffee and magdalenas, what right does society have to take this peace of mind away from me for the rest of a debilitating year?
What is this society we have constructed for ourselves?
What have we done to our right – to our ability – to simply be a human being?