Friday, 18 October 2019

From Cradle To Crusty

The Prime Minister recently referred to protestors from the Extinction Rebellion group as "unco-operative crusties" sheltering in "hemp smelling bivouacs". George Monbiot acknowledges that many of those supergluing themselves to the pavement are white, middle class, healthy pensioners who can afford to take the time to protest. But as GM says "the costs of arrest are lower for me - I have a moral duty to use my privilege"
But at the other end of the scale, we have seen a huge upsurge in the number of younger people protesting recently. And people have complained about that too - why aren't they  in school? what do they know about life? how dare they presume to teach us how to live? etc.
I believe passionately in the right to peaceful protest against perceived injustice, whatever your age. And even if these children sometimes are naive, and not fully aware of all the facts, I applaud those who seek to make the world a better place. And I admire those who struggled against adversity, seeking to help others. 
How many of these girls can you name? Each one has been an 'influencer' since her teenage years
Top row - Greta Thunberg [b.2003]. A bright Swedish teenager, coping with all the difficulties of being on the autistic spectrum- but not afraid to 'speak truth to power' and tell the older generations that they are killing our planet.
Malala Yousafzai,[b.1997] a Pakistani teenager who became an activist for women's education, survived an assassination attempt 7 years ago, and now is studying at Oxford, and working to improve women's education the world over.
Second row- Anne Frank,[b.1929] a German born Dutch Jew. Hidden from the Nazis for 2 years, she kept a secret diary. In 1944 she was discovered, and sent to a concentration camp where she died. Her diary continues to inspire and challenge.
Amy Carmichael, [b.1867] this Irish girl had a passion for speaking of Jesus, she went to Manchester in her teens, to help the mill-girls - but then travelled to India and spent the rest of her life there, working to free women forced into prostitution, and helping orphaned and destitute children.
Third Row - Marie Curie [b.1867] a Polish woman, brilliant at science, in a time when girls were not encouraged to pursue higher education. She made great personal sacrifices in her teens to enable her to get to university. We still benefit from the discoveries she made. She won Nobel Prizes in two different fields.
Mary Jones[b. 1800] - a Welsh girl who, aged ten, desperately wanted to read the bible in her own language, so she could learn to be more like Jesus. She saved for 6 years, then walked 26 miles, barefoot across the hills, to buy her own copy. The bookseller did not have one- but Mary's determination led to the foundation of the Bible Society - which now provides bibles all round the world in hundreds of languages.
Six girls from six different nations, who all started working to make a different before they became adults. None from very wealthy backgrounds, all committed to caring for others. 
Their stories challenge me and inspire me. I'm definitely an old, crusty, unco-operative activist now [tho I have never had a hemp smelling bivouac] but I pray I never lose my passion for speaking out against injustice, or doing what I can to help others.


  1. All of them inspiring! Our PM is one of those rich, complacent individuals who just think things will just have to wait if they are actually too complicated to handle, e.g. climate emergency, and doesn't like the inconvenience of people making him think about such things. I find him wholly repellent and suddenly find I've never felt like this about a PM before. Will have to work hard to pray to change these feelings and change him!
    You inspire me by the way you help people daily!x

    1. Praying is alwaysa good idea, Kezzie. Keep it up!

  2. I am so please Bob is going to be okay. I had a stroke 1yr 9mths there is a lot I cannot do but I am so lucky there is a lot I can still do and live in my own, I have a wonderful family which makes a lot of difference. Look after your self as well.
    Hazel c uk

    1. Thank you Hazel. Good to hear that you're still managing to live independently, and that your family are so supportive

  3. I applaud the power of their convictions and I believe that all ages should be engaged, socially and politically - and while I do believe that we are experiencing climate change and must all do our part to stop mindless pollution - I do have some reservations about "fanatics" no matter what their cause.
    I find more and more that science is ignored over hysteria and if anyone dares to even question (as we should all question) policies, dogma, even causes - they are shouted down, berated and even threatened with rape &/or death and I think it is to all our detriment.
    I want to hear from all sides - I want them to debate each other with facts and then I want to be able to make up my own mind. More and more I find that those who scream the loudest get the publicly and then somehow get to occupy the moral high ground and this makes me very uncomfortable.
    Just the other day an adjunct professor from BC did not have her contract renewed at one of our universities because the powers that be (who can't or won't be identified) decided that she was not presenting a balanced view when she did voluntary presentations to school children. Her crime - stating that contrary to popular opinion, polar bears are not endangered - in fact - they are thriving - something that our Inuit population has been telling us for years! In fact, they have asked the Government repeatedly to issue more hunting licenses to control the population! She isn't some nut case - she believes in climate change - she is a zoologist - a top expert in her field and her "crime" seems to be that her facts go against the accepted propaganda.
    I also take issue with huge crowds of protestors - especially the younger ones - who wear fast fashion, have all sorts of polluting electronics on their person, drink from single use plastic, hit all the fast food outlets afterwards & then leave their garbage for others to deal with - presuming to lecture me! For most it was a day off from class and a chance to to meet up with their friends. I think they would have been better served attending presentations on how to limit their own carbon footprint and then pledging to actually follow through - rhetoric is fine but actions speak louder than words - and even protests.
    Sorry to rant a bit - the paper has just been full of one thing after another this week that has convinced me that the world has truly gone a bit mad at the moment!

  4. Rants allowed! Yes, I agree that some people jump on the "protest" bandwagon, but their lifestyles do not match the placards they carry. We need space for both sides to speak
    - and to listen.

  5. I recognized of four of the six young women. I didn't know the two who were included for their Christian religious activities, but, I think I have a reasonable excuse for that! :D

    1. Yes, they are less well known outside church circles. I imagine you have some young heroines I don't know about.


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