Over 50 years ago, a West End of London Musical, called “Stop the World – I Want To Get Off” won a whole bunch of awards. The story line was simple and in a few sentences it went something like this:
The show tracked a man from the moment of his birth to his death, and every time something unsatisfactory happened, he called out 'Stop the world!' He started as a tea boy, got lucky and married the daughter of his boss who gave him daughters but not the son he craved. Despite inheriting the business he became increasingly dissatisfied with his existence and embarked on a number of adventures, usually involving women, while searching for something better. He became rich and successful, and was elected to public office. Only in his old age did he realize that what he had from the start was more than enough to sustain him.
So, I wonder, how often do you wish you could stop the world and pause for breath. This express train we seem to be travelling on at well over100 miles an hour makes life tiring – but it is something we have brought on ourselves. As a result, we view life in a blur, make decisions that are frequently done "on the run" and are often not thought through properly. We lose our perspective, our senses of direction and decency, of ethics - and we stumble headlong towards a darker world. Pretending in some ways that what we have today is so much better than it was before.
But right now, today, our world is one where uncertainty rules, where religions – often historically preaching but not practicing tolerance and understanding, but kept under control, are once again becoming belligerent, barbaric - returning to the dark ages in the name of who knows what! The threat of war has not been as close for generations. Even today's simple task of flying to visit families and friends or on business is put at risk by murderers on the loose. And where Governments appear powerless – or worse, unwilling - to act against these threats and are doing nothing in case their business community loses business.
I am being asked more frequently to air my own views more publicly on some of these issues – which is nice – especially if it lends some sort of perspective to what is going on out there. I have been quiet for a few months mainly because I have been very busy – thanks to retirement! – but I think I have a few things to contribute to the debates, rightly or wrongly on matters such as Arabs, Bankers, China, Demographics – oh, and taxation, and democracy, and natural resources ... and
See you soon.