“Things ain’t what they used to be” – where does that line come from? Must be a musical from my childhood – ‘Oliver,’ maybe. If so, we are going back over 40-odd years to a line that is perfect for today in September 2020, when the first TV debate will air between Biden and Trump. But let’s not talk of that now.
Everything has changed, but it seems most people do not understand what that means. University students in the UK are protesting now about getting plunged into debt, paying for courses that have gone online, if they’ve gone anywhere. Some of them may also be aware that in the Brexit environment, it doesn’t matter much if they go to University, anyway.
University for me was about many things, and education and a career were among them, but not even close to the top of the list.
Nowadays, life is more competitive. Kids have to think carefully about their careers and how much money they could make because even the humbler lifestyles are almost out of reach to so many people.
The consequences are there to be seen. The winners and the losers are out in the open, and there’s nowhere to hide.
The other day, I had to do a tiny translation for PepsiCo, about something so unimportant I’ve forgotten what it was. To cut a long story short, the person who requested it expressed her irritation that it was maybe 15 minutes late. My plans changed without warning, and I had to pick up Artur from English school I explained this to the irritated client, and she said she wasn’t interested – I had to respect the deadline.
This is what she has been reduced to. A tiny-minded robot who has lost the ability to see what matters and what doesn’t.
Maybe we all need to stop and think. To look at the world and our place in it. To stop obsessing over stupid and meaningless matters. To be vast.