Sunday, 22 November 2015

My fervent hope

[Originally posted on Facebook]

It is my fervent hope that, one day, we will learn to see people and respond with compassion, instead of seeing labels and responding with fear and hatred.

To be clear, I mean that whether the label that arouses our hatred is "Muslim", "Republican", "Democrat", "liberal", "Conservative", or "left-winger". Or anything else.

I include myself in this wish, because I too am capable of labelling and responding with fear and hatred.

Sometimes fear is justified, but often - arguably mostly - it isn't. And hatred only ever leads to destruction, not least of our own goodness.

Now that I've probably pissed off 2/3 of my friends list, I'll go and write an article on the Modern Slavery Act 2015. It won't be nearly as tub-thumping as you might imagine.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Yoga troubles: a straw poll

The scenario

You are at your very first yoga class. You felt a little queasy on the way into the leisure centre but now, sitting on your mat, you feel really quite vomitacious.
The teacher asks you if you have done yoga before. You say no and explain that you are feeling a little unwell and may have to leave. She asks if you are worried about something. You shake your head, even though the truth would be "yes, I'm worried I'm about to re-enact the pea soup scene from The Exorcist".
As the yoga teacher makes her way to the front of the class, you are overcome by a fit of dry-heaving. You get up and fetch your bag. You are still retching, only now it is not so dry.


Which is the greater social faux pas?
A. Dashing out of the class to make sure you get to the toilets in time, leaving your mat for somebody else to put away?
B. Rolling up your mat and puking on the studio floor?

Readers, I took option A. I think it's safe to say I was not in a position to make a good first impression. I have, however, learned two things:
1. I care far too much about what strangers think of me.
2. I need to stop buying coffee from the Costa machine in our local Co-op. Seriously, it's not the first time I've felt grim after drinking that stuff.