Richard Pierce

Richard Pierce – author, poet, painter

Life, Poetry, Writing

Day 78

Two days of winter left. The wind is blowing the clouds across the sky. The sun is out. The office is dark compared to the brightness outside. It’s good weather to hang the washing out. The wind comes from the east. Ironic. Still those thoughts of the sound of bombs travelling in on the gales. The Saharan sands reached us earlier in the week, the windows still streaked with exotic mud, the roof of the office with a trail of the stuff from sloping surface to drainpipe. The world is actually much smaller than we imagine or hope sometimes. Lies travel around the globe just as easily as sand and missiles and fallout. Which is the most toxic remains to be seen, though there can never be any doubt which toxicity would ultimately prevail if released. Without having read up about it, I still don’t really understand the motivation behind inventing a nuclear bomb. Nor behind inventing a standard bomb, nor behind a gun. Knives and spears I can understand, just about, though not their inhuman uses. Science can never excuse itself as pure science without thinking about all possible end results.


That brings me back to my musing about human nature. I finished Bregman yesterday morning after I finished yesterday’s post. Without giving too much away – and I think everyone probably interprets the book differently anyway – the bottom line is this (as I’ve already written in my review: compassion is more effective than empathy in trying to change the world for the better. Humankind evolved from being nomadic, companionable, and kind into being distrustful and effectively solitary (in terms of groups of different people being solitary and territorial). The structures and strictures humans imposed on themselves and others once the model of living moved from the dynamic to the static are exactly what has made us assume we are born bad people, and that we have to struggle to allow our goodness to surface. The epilogue ends with ten lessons for a better world, the headlines of which I will copy out and stick on my office wall next to my Eight Lessons Of Therapy. It will take a lot of effort by a lot of people to make the world a better place. Some might even question if there is enough time left to make the world a better place – again. After reading the book, I wonder if, ultimately, humankind’s greatest failings are laziness and intransigence. Those static structures (which now include insidious news and social media) have made us too comfortable and complacent. Having said all that, I defend the artist’s right to portray the good and the bad in human nature. Light and dark. Point and counterpoint.




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  1. Ren Powell

    19th March 2022 at 11:44

    Listening. And thinking of the Hindu’s Shiva. We create from destruction…if its nothing more than a consolation?

    1. Richard Pierce

      19th March 2022 at 12:55

      Perhaps it’s more than a consolation, though not necessarily for humankind, but just for Mother Earth.

  2. Ren Powell

    20th March 2022 at 18:14

    I like that way of looking at it.

    1. Richard Pierce

      20th March 2022 at 18:50

      🙂 I meant to write today based on that view, but the thoughts didn’t align in time. Maybe tomorrow.

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