Happy Friday, it’s been a hard week after the joy of the birthday it was back to earth with a bump! Here are this week’s links..
How to fall back in love with your job. I’m never going to love working. My idea of heaven is pretty much being in my house with something to read, a glass of wine (or a G&T) and maybe some cake. However, life doesn’t work like that, so I have a job to pay for the luxury of the books, wine, gin and cake. This really is a reminder to focus on positive stuff but it’s always good to have strategies…
Sali Hughes on First World Problems. This. A thousand times this.
Obviously a little perspective and a degree of self-awareness is a good thing. Someone I knew once told me, with tears in his eyes, that his father had clearly never loved him because he’d bought him an inferior set of golf clubs for an upcoming holiday. My sympathy was minimal, my giggles barely contained. And if I were publicly whinging that my caviar was too round then I’d hope someone would give me a little talking to. Gratitude, too, is important, and to take stock of what you do have, as opposed to what you don’t, is an exercise that is always worthwhile. But it’s a stupid mistake to use any yardstick to judge the unmathematical, irrational and wholly subjective matter of human emotion. Problems aren’t relative, and to pop each of them onto some imagined scale of validity to determine how we should feel about them is bonkers.
As for commentary about poverty – a disproportionate share of which issues from very well paid, established, columnists like David Brooks of the New York Times and George Will of the Washington Post – all too often, it tends to reflect the historical biases of economic elites, that the poor are different than “we” are, less educated, intelligent, self-disciplined and more inclined to make “bad lifestyle choices.” If the pundits sometimes sound like the current Republican presidential candidates, this is not because there is a political conspiracy afoot. It’s just what happens when the people who get to opine about inequality are drawn almost entirely from the top of the income distribution.
If you’re middle aged and not getting enough sleep, you’re rotting. Marvellous, just what I needed to hear!
Sleep is the greatest gift we’ve ever been given. It gives us energy, it makes us happier, it boosts our creativity, it stops our skin from looking like a wet burlap sack that’s been riddled with shotgun pellets. In fact, there’s only one thing better than being asleep, and that’s waking up at eight o’clock in the morning and then immediately deciding to go back to sleep. Show me a person who doesn’t enjoy that and I’ll show you a friendless lunatic.
Yet at the same time, these terrorists are Jews in a Jewish state. And not only are they Jews, but even if their actions are driven in part by anti-liberal and anti-democratic ideas anathema to the Israeli state, they are also driven by ideas that are not so marginalized. The ideas that Israel shouldn’t compromise on territory or treat Palestinians or Arab Israelis equally are, to varying degrees, positions that exist within the mainstream discourse. Only a tiny fringe uses violence, but that fringe is embedded in a real constituency — settlers — that get angry if they feel persecuted.
On telling people who didn’t do well in their A Levels, that it will be fine. It’s a good point. The thing is that it won’t be what you expected but it will more or less be ok but this is a very good point
Social mobility is, for the most part, a bust. How you do depends hugely on how your parents did. Pretty much none of us “deserve” the success or failure that comes our way: it is in large degree simply something we have inherited. This is wrong, and if you want to change it, you should do it like this: grab every bit of privilege that comes your way, turn it into power and use that power to get stuff done, before someone else can use their power to make the world even more obnoxiously unequal.