Human Hamsters and the cyclic treadmill of life

A hamster and a hamster wheel

Image via Wikipedia

As I sat this morning with my pot of tea, pondering the subject of life, work and all manner of other social issues, my thought processes quickly confirmed to me; much of life is cyclic!

I suppose yesterday was responsible for me waking with this nugget of social observation in my head… Last night I returned to the roots of both my personal and working life as I took up the post of part-time barman in a local hostelry…

The world spins on its axis, the seasons follow each other continuously, the tides rise and fall daily and, much of what is fashionable today has also been the fad of a previous generation. This factor is brought home when you hear people more youthful than you, raving on about the latest ‘must have’ clothing or music. As you accept you’ve actually owned or experienced something very similar, at least once before in your life, you realise that you are aging!

In real terms, very little is actually genuinely new and innovative; I can easily accept that fact however; I find it increasingly hard to stomach things being changed by ‘new thinking’. Change that is made simply for the sake of change, developed by individuals who constantly ‘reinvent the wheel‘ with their ‘new broom sweeps cleaner’ thinking and worse, often takes absolutely no cognisance of previous social or business lessons.

I finished my tea and ventured out into the cool morning autumnal air for a stroll with the dog. The gold, orange and brown of the fall reminded me we’re already running headlong towards winter. As we wound our way through the park I came across a group of ‘likely lads’ who, resplendent in their dirty trainers, tracksuit bottoms and hoodie tops, were sitting on a park bench swigging from cans of larger (at 10am in the morning). I was reminded again of our circular life.

One school year has ended, another has just begun and here we see another example of the cyclic outpouring of last term’s failure in our education system. Another batch of unemployable and mostly uneducated ‘skiprats’ who, whilst celebrating their release from academic incarceration, were looking forward to a forthcoming life of benefit payments and/or crime. The next generation that has already been failed by their families, their communities and the system. For all intents and purposes, written off by the those in our society who expect them to become proactive members of ‘The Big Society‘. The pooch and I continued on our walk.

Enjoyment of the morning air was cut short when it became precipitous and we beat a hasty retreat towards home (the dog doesn’t like getting her hair wet – typical woman). Considering the pooch and her welfare my mind turned to the pets that we humans keep. Thinks; are we not all human Hamsters spending life locked in a cage? A cage that is owned by our political and commercial masters and, no matter how hard we all run hell for leather in our wheel, there is no escape. Are we all destined to graft (or steel) as hard as we possibly can to gain as much power and/or wealth as we can, as quick as we can? Why can’t we just be happy mooching around our cage, adjust the sawdust and shavings now and then to our liking and simply take it easy in our nest of shredded newspaper?

You do have to wonder; will our wheel continue to spin true (all be it with a slight wobble) on its social axle or, due to the collapse of its financial bearings and legal casing, is there to be a catastrophic failure of the structure? If, as we are instructed by our political masters, we all put in a concerted treadmill effort, will the wheel eventually spin-off  the  (so far) poorly maintained structure and crash through the cage doors at the point of failure, thereby providing us all with a route to freedom?

To my mind the integrity of wheel isn’t actually doomed or destined for failure, subject to a much-needed and overdue service. Yes it needs some cleaning, polishing, modernising and re-truing however, we need competent time-served engineers to carry out the task. Ones who know a wheel is a wheel and it doesn’t actually need to be re-invented. I am however starting to believe; I don’t really give an fcuk if the wheel is well and truly shagged or it’s repaired. I can sit easy in my newspaper nest crying “bring it on”. You can’t beat a good dose of plague, pestilence or a whopping natural disaster, for making humanity finally sit up and reexamine their priorities, even if that ethos is shortlived.

To everything – turn, turn, turn. There is a season – turn, turn, turn. And a time for every purpose under heaven (The Byrds)

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About Dave Hasney

National Coordinator for UK SMART Recovery - Previously a Recovery Worker and prior to that a Management Consultant and H&S Practitioner - Kept sane by Angling, Good Food, Real Ale & Wine - Cynical thoughts sometimes developed from others.

Posted on 15-10-2010, in Business Babble, Public Service Babble, Society Babble. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

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