I have just gone through my annual Blog review, wondering whether now is the time for me to stop blogging and move on to other things. It was an even more thoughtful process this year because I have not written very much in the last two or three months. Clearly this was due to some circumstances beyond my control, and by the way I must thank those who enquired about my health. I think it is safe to say that I am now fully recovered.
Anyway, my review process is pretty simple really. I start by asking myself why I do it, does anyone actually read it other than family and a few stalwart friends, and what actually am I hoping to achieve by writing a few of my random thoughts down on a computer? And it is really the latter thought that exercises my mind the most.
My Blog is most definitely not an ego trip: some morbid desire to hang on to the past. If I write something, I want it to be able to inform, or provide a perspective on events that happen within the world in which we live today. Perhaps viewed through the eyes of experience from a generation that is already living longer, and which is active for longer, than previous generations. I am very conscious, though, that there is much opinion already out there – available immediately. And although I may not agree with such opinion, are mine any more relevant or should be respected than the opinions expressed by others? Opinions to which they are clearly entitled.
Historically, the Blog really started because I was still being asked questions by a number of journalists, so I thought it easier to provide a “general” comment on issues in which they were interested out of which they could pick the bits they wanted. But, not surprisingly the questions from them have slowed over time – let’s face it I have been retired (from full time employment, anyway) almost 8 years – and although I know the blog is still read by some journalists, they are mostly Hong Kong based, and they are interested in Hong Kong and HSBC! But my own interests are much broader than that.
We are impacted in Asia by things that happen elsewhere around the globe. Particularly economically. Our future safety is wrapped up in what happens in the Middle East and in North Korea, and undoubtedly other places. But also amongst certain communities that profess to embrace tolerance, but who by their actions demonstrate a flagrant disregard of their own teachings. And as I have continuing roles in the Middle East region, as well as Asia, I have other thoughts to share.
But this is not just about economics, and politics and security – important though they are. It is also about demographics, employment, education, food and water supplies, nationalism both economic and territorial. And it is about older people – like me, who are still able to contribute, and it’s about our children and our grandchildren and the world in which they are living, surrounded by technological and medical advancement – both the good, the bad, and the very ugly.
There is so much going on out there in our world that you just cannot become an ostrich and pretend that if you don’t see it – then it won’t see you! The media can inform, but it can also misinform. It can interpret, and it can misinterpret. By way of example I read an article recently in a respectable Australian business newspaper that was writing about how difficult it was going to be for international banks to operate in China because of the restrictions being imposed by the authorities. It quoted a couple of recent cases that, in their opinion, justified their line of thinking. But I happen to know the precise story behind one of the examples quoted – and I have been advised by a reliable source about the other one and can, with confidence, say that the report while well-written and indeed convincing, was also free from reality.
For this reason, despite the blog commentator who has described my blog, if I may paraphrase, as being written by someone in the winter of his life and who he therefore thinks may express views that are of less relevance today, that even though the old lion may not run so fast as before, he can perhaps still finds ways to make his presence felt.
So conclusion? Another year I think, and then we’ll see.