Just when you thought the news couldn’t get any worse, it does. I switched on the TV early, 07:10 actually, and apparently the Israelis have given the main hospital one hour to get everybody out and go to the south of the Gaza area. This includes people who are physically unable to get up from their beds. They have to walk in single file and this includes patients and doctors a distance of about six kilometers. The Israelis have not offered to supply them with the means, in other words ambulances. As the operational head of the hospital said, ‘this is no longer a hospital’.
Watching the numerous videos, what I found most appalling was seeing the newly born children flailing their limbs, not being fed and being almost sure to expire. What sort of mentality likes this and what sort of mentality gives the authority for it.
I watched the Jimmy Dore show which is an American show. He is not familiar with the English system but said ‘you wonder why the UK government aren’t calling for a ceasefire?’ Rishi Sunak’s father-in law signed a 1.5Bn deal with British Petroleum who have been awarded a license from Israel to exploit Palestinian gas resources‘. See the video here if you dont believe me.
Dealing with the media
An interesting thing has happened with the Mendip Times or rather what did not happen. It carries news of events in the Mendip area and we are on the edge of it and therefore we qualify. I thought that reaching my millionth word in this diary will be a newsworthy local item so I wrote to them saying that I would love to have a mention. I was even prepared to have an advertorial, that is where you buy an advertising space and get an editorial mention as well. I spoke to one of the two directors and he said to please mail him.
I did so but a week later received no response. I spoke to the other director, and explained my position and he said that he would send a text to his colleague to call me. This did not happen so a few days later I rang him back saying that I will send an email to him directly. So far, no response.
I will keep you all updated with this saga if and when things develop. I really do hope to be able to report a positive response. The Mendip Times is a great publication and has maintained its quality over the period that I have been in Somerset (over 10 years now).
I admit I am one of those who tends to assume the worst when I hear nothing, and it may be that there was illness in the office, they were overloaded with work, the computer system broke down. If I am informed about this type of thing it always brings my instant forgiveness and indeed relief. Maybe this quality is my systemic fault and I need to work on being more patient.
There is a good article in the NY Times by Dr. Adam Grant entitled ‘No, You can’t ignore Email’. It’s rude. Being overwhelmed is no excuse. It’s hard to be good at your job if you’re bad at responding to people.
However whilst I am about it I will use this as an opportunity to have a rant about people who do not respond to emails. In the course of my business I write often to the USA to comment on material received from an organization in that part of the world. I have noticed over 20 or 30 years that you should not expect a response. The only exception to this is if you are offering to make a donation or you have something which can be seen or benefit to them and even then, there is no guarantee. In the world of survival of the fittest, I don’t know how much time and energy those who run companies have for public relations. The clue lies in the name. It means relating to the public or if you like building up a bridge or bond of trust.
By responding to me yes or no and giving reasons a company would be starting to establish a bond of trust. Public relations takes a long time to work up and you do not see the results of your labours immediately. The situation that any organization anywhere in the world is that by responding to me they show they care and are professional and of course the converse applies. If I came across something else interesting and the relevant publication had not responded to me previously, I would simply not bother to write to them, rather I would focus on those who did previously respond.
As I understand it, you form a business or charity or venture to support other people for the general good. If you are only prepared to service the self-serving narrow aspect of the job then you definitely need to attend a course in public relations or perhaps hire someone to be the public face of your entity whatever it is. In many cases with small companies, it is the person who answers the phone, or the receptionist, that is one of the most important people because they are the initial point of contact between someone either ‘off the street’ or a loyal customer.
What does it mean to be a good person
Today’s topic is discussing what it means to be a good person. I’m doing so because it came up at our bible study last night and it was clear that no one could give a definitive answer. Here is my take which once again is work in progress and anyone is invited to comment.
I will look at it in the biblical context as well as a general context. The word ‘good’ is very widely used.
This is one of the most difficult adjectives to describe because it is context sensitive. To explain why good is the opposite of bad is not done in one jump. Let us start by looking at the context in which the word good is used or as I would say overused. I maintained that if you don’t know what a word means, like as previously discussed the word nice, you should use it with caution.
The season of good will – we wish the best for other people and the implication is to cast aside trivial differences
Good night – good means peaceful, uninterrupted sleep, a quiet night. This is additionally meaningful for someone who has been ill or has not enjoyed the nighttime hours
She is Goody Two Shoes – this derives from a nursery tail in 1765 called the history of little Goody Two Shoes. It refers to someone who is virtuous in a coy, smug or sentimental manner. It is a retelling of the Cinderella Story which itself is an example of the Christian teaching that diligence reaps its reward in heaven – what later came to be called jam tomorrow. The story is that the young girl is so poor that she only possessed one shoe and when she is given a pair of shoes by a rich person she keeps on repeating and boasting that she has two shoes
Have a good day – this in my observation has come to mean nothing much in particular. it’s one auto level with have a nice day or have a nice one
Good riddance – good riddance to bad rubbish indicates that we are better off without something
He is a good-for-nothing – this is applied more to a person than a thing and indicates an idle or worthless person
So far, so good – in our plans, we have made progress. This normally applies to practical plans.
The weather forecast is good – this is a subjective phrase more likely to indicate the lack of rain then be conditions which would for example suit a farmer or wind surfer and hence the rise of specialist whether forecasts
The meal was good – this is an almost meaningless phrase. It can mean it was edible, it was badly cooked but I couldn’t be bothered to complain, I did not want to make a fuss so I ate it anyway. If you listen to a food critic they describe the food in nuanced terms such as the quality of the food, the appropriateness of the cooking method, the presentation or plating, the context with other courses if it is a meal.
I think we can do better with the use of this word. I agree that my words may be a ‘cry in the wilderness’ when everywhere around me the language is being degraded but that does not prevent me from seeking to maintain good standards and if I stick out like a sore thumb, so be it. I am not quite sure why thumbs should be said to stick out more than other sore parts but that is another story.
Let us look briefly at the spiritual and moral meaning of the word ‘good’
The use of the word good continues to be associated with positive qualities such as morally right, of high quality, satisfactory. With people, it’s about virtuous and moral excellence in other words a good person does not speak badly of others. They display character traits that are considered beneficial to others, just, or morally right. A person can give a good performance which can mean a well executed task, an effective public talk, or a satisfactory outcome.
The difference between good and bad is deeply ingrained in human culture hence my disgust at the news item at the top of this diary entry. I consider a depraved person as someone who cannot tell the difference between good and bad. Communally speaking we talk about the greater good, serving the common good emphasizing that goodness extends beyond individual desires and encompasses the well-being of society as a whole.
When we say ‘no good’ it means that we do not see the benefits of the proposed action to anyone else. We can associate the word good with the latin bene as in benefit. ‘It was beneficial to me’.
From the spiritual and transcendental point of view, I would see goodness as fitting our behavior and lifestyle using the guidance given by He who made us and gave us life. In mechanistic terms, you could say ‘following manufacturers instructions’.
So we have the emergence of some key words
‘ bene’ ‘benefit’ ‘goodness’ ‘good fit’ ‘fitting behaviour’
I am not sure how much scope you have to demonstrate goodness on your own though you can be holy. You can keep your thoughts pure I suppose.
From the writer This is just my first shot, I shall be discussing it with others and we’ll in due course publish an amplified version of these notions. Meanwhile, let us all think about using such terms as ‘nice’ or ‘good’.