dark clouds


Today, I overheard two statements that made me think.


And worry, more than a little.

Of course, that’s what I do.  I worry.

The first was something along the lines “he admitted he was morally guilty…” but “denied he had committed any crime”.

The second, in an interview discussing the looming British election “the idea of voting with your heart and hoping for some change…”

Two overheard snatches of discussion, though seemingly unrelated, seemed suddenly, and terribly, connected.

The power, responsibility and role of the individual in the great sweep of history and world events. When most people are simply worried about making ends meet and what they may, or may not, watch on TV tonight.

The feeling of helplessness that so many experience when considering where to place their cross on the ballot paper.

Will it make any difference? Does anyone care? Why bother?

Well, of course, the answer is yes, it does matter.

It matters an enormous amount.

As indeed does the trial of the former guard at Auschwitz who admitted to “moral guilt” but not to committing a “crime”.

It made me think where moral guilt starts.

And ends.

And, where committing a crime starts and ends. And what is moral guilt?

If we don’t vote, and the government that takes power goes on to commit atrocities, where do our responsibilities begin and end?

And, in collecting the money, yet asking for a transfer to other duties, how guilty is that guard.  Really.

And what would any of us do?

When we stand in judgement, do we stand in the shoes of all those ordinary people who allowed it to happen, looked the other way, felt powerless, or intimidated, or abused, or afraid. I wonder?

And crucially, at what point would we realise that our actions, or inactions, form part of a continuum that enables atrocities to take place.

Something worth thinking about before placing that cross on a slip of paper?

I think so.

(For the last two weeks I have been attempting to learn how to write better. I’ve been taking part in Writing 101, an online course hosted by Michelle W from the WordPress Blogging U.

Today’s prompt was “take a cue from something you’ve overheard and write a post inspired by a real-life conversation. Revisit a time when you wish you’d spoken up, reminisce about an important conversation that will always stick with you, or tune in to a conversation happening around you right now and write your reaction.” Each prompt comes with a twist. Today’s twist was to ‘include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.”

(for wordpress writing 101 – day twelve)

23 thoughts on “dark clouds

  1. It was something what was on my mind too – moral guilt, crime and standing in judgement, I mean. I decided to focus on the conflict of fundamental rights instead. And the impact on people and society. You got me thinking again – did I take the right angle? Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good political insight Andy. Too often we turn up and just post the same vote because that’s the way we’ve always done it. I think it’s time we really think about what we believe in.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very good post Andy. Deep reflection, and one that we should make everyday. Most politicians remain in office too long because of a silent majority who doesn’t understand that they have responsibility to change what it doesn’t work.
    Thanks for another fabulous post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent food for thought Andy. Thoughts that, it would seem, a lot of people don’t put in when exercising their ‘power’ at the ballot box. Short term ‘I’ thoughts perhaps rather than the longer term ‘us’ thoughts. Something that frustrates me ‘down under’ and now disturbingly is resonating with some extremists thinkers , nay ‘commentators’ (calling them thinkers seems too generous) over the waters.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. great post! we are all culpable if we stand by watching but do nothing. we cannot wash our hands of this blood. “If we don’t vote, and the government that takes power goes on to commit atrocities, where do our responsibilities begin and end?” perfect question leading to the answer: ultimately the blame lies with us if we do not vote. We cannot sit idly by and then feel outrage when the outcome is less than fair, because we have been as much a part of the problem but being passive. Again, great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think we sometimes have to consider ourselves respnsible for things we may not are because it’s us who affect one another and who are making decisions. Even if the major part in an action is not ours we might have been able by affecting the one whose it was to decide differently.
    A single tiny change in the course of action can casue the outturn of events to be completely different.
    That’s what I believe in at least.

    (Don’t worry about the writing cours Andy you do well. And we never stop learning and imrpoving while we continue to write. Our writing grows as we grow older. Day by day. Word by word.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you once more, I really do appreciate you reading what I write. And understanding. And yes, those single little things we do, or don’t do, say or don’t say, they can make all the difference in the world to others. And so often, we just of not see that. If only we could?


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