I have been living in California for almost 40 years and have a great love of the west and the philosophy that drew me across atlantic ocean back in the 1970’s. I have always admired the creative, entrepreneurial mindset of people in the west. No class distinctions. When you meet someone you either like them or you don’t. Everyone is tinkering in their garage, trying to come up with something useful or inventive. I love that. It is the best of britain, without the problems of class and condescension. I have never understood snobbery. What a waste of time feeling superior. It is quite meaningless.
In britain we always called snobs, toffee nosed. I guess if a snob knew they were being called a toffee nosed git or toffee nosed wanker, they might think twice about their delusions of grandeur. But in the USA it was less about wealth and the perception that it gave you any greater standing or status. There was always a greater sense of equality. It was about being innovative and changing the world. (the omnipresent California sunshine was always a draw for me. I think I left Britain the year I did not see the sun for 268 days)
Today is memorial day and I have been contemplating the men and women who have risked it all for our freedoms. My grandfather was killed in WWI, my dad was in India while serving in the British Army and my father in-law was only 17 when he enlisted as marine and went Guam during WWII. It is staggering to see people today still fighting for the freedom to speak, women’s rights, the rights of children, the rights of people everywhere to have clean water, food and basic housing and sanitation. Sacred rights that should be universal. But I don’t need memorial day to remind me of the sacrifice people make. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of those young men and women fighting wars and risking life and limb. But I also think of the artists, writers, journalists, musicians, poets telling the story and singing their song to uplift us. And I think of the volunteers, charities and organizers, lending a hand and showing us a better way. And the doctors, scientists, educators and teachers who are sharing knowledge, the most powerful tool we have, building better brains! Take a minute each day to envision all of these people working together. Inner vision, not superstition, will bring peace and harmony.