Only last week my favourite journo, Rod Liddle, was a most reviled chap in Britain. Thanks to his article about teachers. In truth, it was not good. I do know a bit about education and teachers. Without going into great detail, most teachers work damn hard and under atrocious circumstances. Unruly children, extreme attitudes and unfair pressure from governmental bodies such as 'Estyn' in Wales. Rumours I heard that it was mainly staffed with failed head-teachers (hmmm, interesting; it might explain the poor standards). It all stems from politicians' interference in matters of which they have scant, if any at all, knowledge. But this week he is spot on again about the situation we are facing, Covid of course, it's ramifications and in particular what it has shown about us as humans. About what we have become accustomed to and are now taking for granted, even saying things like, we have a right to live like this. We have a right to fly all over the place, a right have three cruises a year, a right to become as fat as a pig, or drunk and kick a few shop windows in. As he said, we have been privileged compared to the vast majority on this planet. Our lives are based on a much more fragile foundation than we would like to think. Spot on Rod! If we talk about rights, what do we mean? We have none whatsoever! We can give ourselves rights, but there is no natural right. It is only through remembering rights come with responsibilities that we can come to some sort of consensus.
When we are born, we have no rights. We live through the willingness of parents to care for us. If that was not so, we would simply not survive and die. Rights come through negotiation between parties with separate interests and willingness to cooperate. That is how civilisation works or should work. The basis of the universe is simple, it started, it evolves, it will die. Time started, time will stop. There are no rights. No wrongs.
It is us humans who through a veneer of self-importance say, 'we have a right to know, a right to live'. The universe will just smile benignly and explodes the next supernova.
Have a nice Christmas or whatever you celebrate as the Sun will now begin its journey back!