It all seems limitless

A long, long busy day, taking pictures at a homes for people rally out in the cold. My train was delayed and I had to wait 20 minutes shivering on the freezing cold platform, but then something wonderful happened.

As I waited, a man in his 60’s came and stood on the platform along from me and he was shortly followed by a young girl, perhaps 20. We sat in silence together, I was busy reviewing some of my photos and looking at some information from the people I met today when I heard the lady ask the man if he had the train line app to see which train would get her to her destination the quickest. He said he did not have a smart phone and then went on to give her a comprehensive talk through which train would get in to which station, and at what time. It didn’t look like he worked for a train firm but his knowledge was spot on.

Although he did not have a smart phone he had something more valuable – experience.

They continued their conversation and traded stories about their day, their plans, hopes and dreams. We boarded the same coach on the train together and their conversation continued. I looked around and watched the train coach full of people sat in silence on their phones, earplugs in. The assumed position, hunched over squinting into a tiny box of lights after a long day, most likely looking at a computer screen, oblivious of the world around them – except for the man and woman who had struck up the conversation earlier on the train platform. Ironically, I felt the need to capture this ‘missed moment’ and wondered how many times a day we miss moments, however small, that may brighten our days up in an immeasurable way just because we wanted to catch up on the latest Facebook post from our friends, tweet from our favourite celebs or the sporting news? Was I missing my own moment by pulling out the camera? Before boarding the train, I found myself drawn to the Age Concern billboard ‘No one should have no one’, I thought on the train that it is entirely conceivable that the man on the train platform might not have spoken to another soul tonight until he returned to work tomorrow or wherever he came from this evening, except for the intervention for the young lady.With the technology at our disposal, we are both more connected and disconnected than at any time in our history.

How many single serving experiences are we missing every day? And yet it all seems limitless. It’s not. Life is finite and we should make the most of each moment now because we won’t get them again. Life is about our journey, not the destination. Enjoy it.

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Tolerance but not of the rich but of poverty

As news that the richest 1% will hold more wealth than the majority of the world’s population blows up on the BBC (like we didn’t already know #wearethe99% anyone??!) watch this gem from Kevin O’Leary, who thinks that poverty is “fantastic”.

You couldn’t actually write this stuff. As pointed out by the anchor, the people he is talking about don’t have socks to pull up.

On the radio today, there was someone arguing we should accept the rich and tolerate them. The issue for me, however, is not that we need to tolerate the rich but that we have learned to tolerate poverty. Too often we dismiss those in need without a second glance or thought. We walk past people in need everyday but at some point we have to stop and ask why that person is struggling. There is always a reason and by learning to understand these reasons, we can better break down the stigma that is attached.

How did we let Murdoch monopolise the media?

Birmingham City…the ‘no go zone’ of the UK, according to FOX News’ security ‘expert’, Steve Emerson.

Birmingham, I have been there once or twice in my time, can’t say I recall there being a an issue with not being white, though not being fully white myself detractors will probably pull me up on that. Birmingham is culturally diverse. Over 1 million people live there (the mid-2012 estimate was somewhere around the 1,085,400 mark) following the last census in 2011 the cultural make up of Birmingham was as follows;

(Taken from Birmingham City Council website)

  • Around 42% of our residents were from an ethnic group other than White.
  • 46.1% of Birmingham residents said they were Christian, 21.8% Muslim and 19.3% had no religion.
  • 22% of our residents were born outside the UK, compared with 14% in England and 11% in the West Midlands region.

And the city is growing –

  • Since 2001 the population has increased by almost 100,000 (10.2%). This is an average rate of 0.9% per year.
  • The population increase over the last decade is associated with more births, fewer deaths and international migration.

Closer inspection of the census shows that the other religious make up includes Sikh, Buddhist and others. There is much work to be done by the so-called ‘radical Islamists’ if they want to over throw the more than 750,000 ‘infidels’ in town, and that’s if every single one of them wanted to, which they don’t!

So what is security ‘expert’ Steve Emerson’s problem? He says it is “too late for Europe, we have lost control.”

The comments by Emerson have been quickly retracted with a grovelling, written apology. But the damage has been done. People today, more than ever, are audio and visually stimulated. Emerson has twice in a week slated Europe, telling viewers of Rupert Murdoch’s FOX News that European countries are overrun and ruled by Sharia Law. A simple written apology, most likely on the back of a fag packet, is not good enough. When the requirement by Muslims from Rupert Murdoch is full accountability for the Paris shootings, how can this be an acceptable retraction?

The Steve Emerson wet fart is just another, in a long line of examples, of fear and hate mongering of Islam and minorities by the Murdoch media empire. When we learn to boycott not just The Sun, but the rest of his media empire, we might be able to start redressing the balance of information sharing. For now though thankfully we have Twitter. See #foxnewsfacts for some funny retorts to the villainous NewsCorp.