It is both rather egotistical not to mention somewhat bourgeois to ask the question to a point, certainly to voice it in such a fashion however I think many if not all have the questioning within and what divides us sometimes is the nature of both the question and valid answers to it.

I have long since been aware that having a purpose matters to me, I’m sure I am not alone in that fact at all however the purpose we feel we have will differ just as the people we are and the filters through which we see things differs. I feel a need to be of use, principally to other people, to help those in need, to stand up for those who have no voice, it is important but it is also a path not without danger. Firstly who determines that I have any right to do so, that I have the skills, the desire, the understanding to be the best representative for the people I seek to help? There is an easy trap of presumption to fall into that just because someone isn’t doing well alone means that your help will make them do better and it is a trap I have fallen into more than once, for the right reasons I would say but I suspect that might not be much of a consolation to those who find themselves plunged even further into the pit by my hamfisted do-goodery. Added to this is the realistic possibility that the desire to do the right thing not only imposes my version of the world onto the world of another but also that if I am not careful I might look to gain my reward from the act of trying rather than from the act of succeeding in the assistance. On the flip side of that one cannot presume that just because one has not been ultimately successful in a specific endeavour means one has not helped at some point along the way either in whole or in part. it is a physical and moral minefield and not something that can be undertaken lightly.

I have for many years though gravitated towards jobs where someone comes to me for help, that is to say they are more often than not assigned to me as the supposed expert in the field in which they require help, this removes the aspect of whether or not they require help (whilst not entirely alleviating the issue of whether I am the one always best placed to give it). I have had successes and I have had failures, in my opinion I have succeeded at times where others might not and I have failed in circumstances where others might have fared better, such is the nature of the work I do. I would like to hope that at no point does anyone feel that I don’t give a shit even if they might struggle occasionally to see where the evidence of it is, the truth is that at times I struggle to focus on the amount of different strands required to keep all the plates spinning at the same speed. This is a lack of capability not a lack of will, which is a shame in a way because were you not to care enough it stands to reason that you wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. Sleep is a precious commodity.

I don’t require much to keep me going in my efforts to help but the one thing I need above all others is belief and when I look at the rest of my life I think I have something of a reliance on that in wider terms, when the faith goes so my own ability to care begins to decay. As a consequence I don’t think I am always as well placed to work through adversity unless I am able to quantify it in logical and linear terms and of course faith and belief are seldom logical or linear. That leads me to question why this reliance might be and whether there is more to it than simply reinforcement to bolster my own lack of self-esteem. I do not believe I am so self-absorbed as to be functioning purely propelled by self-validation. I don’t say that glibly, the self-esteem angle is clearly a predominant factor but there are areas in which I have more belief than others and therefore perhaps it isn’t as simple as it might seem at first. I should at this stage point out that I am not approaching this knowing the answers to any questions posed per se, I might have suspicions or ideas but this is a journey into some of the less dark depths of the mind in order to look at what does and doesn’t stack up, whether any descent into the emotional abyss comes from it I can’t really say. I don’t feel dressed for a journey into the deep and therefore can only look to wander around the slightly less cold areas and hope that inspiration occurs.

Something I genuinely don’t know is whether my need to create, in a recording sense, outweighs my need to assist or whether they are symbiotic. Since I have had less to write and less to say so I have been less good at assisting, the loss of emotional attachment has affected both equally profoundly. I know that the nature of anything I write is not because of the idea that anyone might read it but it is enhanced by the possibility of that fact and indeed has greater significance should it bring a positive reaction to that person and crucially not merely in a sense of self-aggrandising for me but in the sense that something I have done would have presented someone else with a positive aspect to their life that might not otherwise have existed. It is this very fact that has kept me of the belief that at my core I veer towards the good more than towards the bad. Juxtaposed with that though is that I am aware of many negative traits and my failure to deal with any of these not only impacts on me but also on anyone else that I might otherwise have been able to bring positivity of any sort to and that does sadden me.

Another thing that has come to light during periods of reflection is that I all too often look for the signposts to ‘the right way’ which presents a number of potential issues: Firstly it makes thinking out of the box a great deal more difficult, secondly leading on from that is a danger of easy dogmatism and intransigence; thirdly is the fact that I may fell prey too easily to ideology rather than imperial evidence if the line is followed without questioning; finally it means that where ‘the right way’ is not clear and there is ambiguity so I can lack the motivation until matters make more structural sense. I have examples of all of these things littering my life and indeed there is no easy or right answer. Some of these areas make me better at my job, the eye for detail and adherence is good for policy and the law both of which come into play, the innovators with grandiose ideals and ‘all the best intentions’ sometimes lack a sense of grounding and an ability to pinpoint what the pitfalls might be whereas I lack very often the grandiose ideals in the first place but seldom lack the ability to pick apart someone else’s. However this is where it is important to draw the distinction as to why I might do so. It would be a very different task seeking to denigrate someone’s ideas, hopes, dreams in order to put them down but it is quite another to want them to be aware of what the possible impediments might be to their achieving it so that to be forewarned is indeed to be forearmed. This again is an area in which I am confident in my reasons and my intentions however all too aware that constant problem-finding and naysaying can be regarded as being purely negative because whilst not perhaps intended to be so if not juxtaposed with belief and faith it can come across simply as criticism for the sake of it. I guess what I long for is to be one that the ideas people come back to and say thanks for your input we couldn’t have done it without you, the one tasked with finding the bear traps and figuring out the way to circumvent them.

It is I believe not important to me to be the Glory maker, I seek some respect rather than adulation, I like to make people laugh and think rather than obey, I would sooner be John the Baptist than Jesus, rather Sherpa Tenzing than Edmund Hilary. I want to get every last man, woman and child safely home and safely away from harm, no one is left behind on my watch. I know this is important to me I just hope that I am able to achieve it and that there are not paths along which I have walked strewn with those whom I have missed.

Song Of The Day ~ David Bowie – Ashes To Ashes