Saturday, 18 June 2005

Inverse rule

Well you should not mention spanners and works because the machines are listening. My laptop just sent your message back to you without me asking it to and before I had a chance to write anything.
A friend mentioned to me yesterday that people do not grow up unless they have suffered hardship. I suspect that in some cases that may be true. Not knowing where the next penny is coming from has a wonderfully restraining influence and makes your cherish more what you have. Too much and you want more. You are always dissatisfied and yearn for your own mistaken and unattainable image of perfection. In such cases disasters may be beneficial and restore a more balanced view.
Those that do not have cherish more and understand loss better. They are also, as a consequence, far more sympathetic and generous with what they do have.
I remember that during my first job there was a terrible cyclone hitting what was then East Pakistan. I organised a collection in my building. There was an almost exact inverse correlation between the salary of the staff member and the amount they contributed: I know because I worked in the staff section. Probably the lowest paid clerk contributed £5, which would have been more than a quarter of what he would have earned in a week. Quite a few low paid people put in a pound with most giving half a crown[1]. Executive officers gave maybe a florin[2] and heads of section a shilling[3]. When I eventually collared the head of department he was most reluctant, but no doubt to avoid embarrassment in front of the others, he put sixpence[4] in the envelope.
Fond regards