Monday, December 07, 2009

A time for RE:appraisal

Yesterday was my birthday.

And amongst a few nice things (my wife has been active on FaceBook and reconnected with some old friends who it was lovely to hear from) there was one, truly horrible one.

Which, though it affected me badly, and still is a matter of upset, might have been the best thing that could have happened in a long time.

It was a truly awful, personal 'tweet' on my twitter page.

This person had got a very wrong end of a stick, and instead of thinking for a few seconds had sought offence which, as I am oft prone to quote, if you are looking for in any way, it will happily present itself easily whenever required.

I was shocked by the passion and the bile. All in 140 characters or less. And all because we are in a time poor world where people react rather than think, and cheap talk has more value than considered actions.

Well, and here's the 'good' bit, after 24hrs pondering, I have decided enough's enough.

I enjoy debate. I think I am good at it. And I do think what I say can have value.

But talk can also be very cheap. And pointless. I have valued Twitter for the information it has brought my way, but 9 times out of 10 it has been in a form that is hard to trust and hence needs a lot of checking.

But not just Twitter. At the other end of the communication spectrum, even the so-called 'MSM' (main stream media) is now so corrupted by agenda, dubious affiliations and the seduction of career-driving ratings in an already facile 24/7 'news' environment, nearly all 'reporting' now is commentary, and all commentary is only as good as the person passing it. And that, these days, is near zero.

I have seen Copenhagen as an iconic event, much as many other sincere, idealistic folk. But now it has arrived I think it will just be another jamboree of tribalism and hypocrites jockeying for personal gain, be it monetary, career or ego-boosting legacy coverage.

Maybe there will be 'a deal', and maybe it will involve some positive aspects. If so, great.

But I cannot see the juggernaut that is the various competing global lobbying groups being influenced one jot by what I might think, say or even if the latter resonates with the few I share my views with.

So all the Twittering, blog-surfing and contributing has to stop. It was, is, and I suspect will be mere exercises in futility.

To make a difference I have to get back to doing, even if it is just in the smallest of ways. Because a deed that is appreciated and inspires can lead on to more, bigger and maybe even better ones.

So to that very sad, angry person: thank you. But I am not above hoping that by your words I will be returned to actions that will one day come back to haunt you and what you stand for.

'A great person makes others feel small. A truly great person makes others feel great'

Words to live by. And act upon.