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Saturday, 23 January 2010

Make This A Better Ride


Anybody who will remember the late great Bill Hicks will recall that not only was he a very controverisal and funny comedian but was a philosopher and social commentator. In his tour entitled "Revelations" Hicks, answers the question "What is the Point to Life?". Click on the link below for his answer and oddly enough it make sense. The world we live in whilst seemingly very real is in fact an illusion, but really he is not talking about the actual physicallity of existence but about the conceptual world we live in.

Confused yet? Basically we have been fed an assortment of confusing messages from the moment we emerged from the womb and learned to communicate. Human beings can affect change (and if you don't believe that just look at some of the greater aspects of our history) and make this world better than what it is at the moment. Yet the message from others blur our ability to see this. Many of the powers that be have too much invested in the way the world is today, rife with poverty and fractured by political, territorial, and religious divisions, dependent on commerce, which have been the cause of much violence in the word.

This is not a history lesson folks but a musing which has resurfaced in the dark recesses of my so called mind after the Haiti disaster, and Hicks' parting words in the clip below echo louder than ever. I think about this particularly when I hear and read on the news about Simon Cowell's plans to release a single to raise money for the earthquake victims or George Clooney gathering the rockstars of the world for a Live Aid style concert for the same purpose. All this is comendable as it gives ordinary people an alternative means to make a donation which put together would actually amount to seriously life changing sums of money. Yet I can't seem to shake Bill Hicks's words and it has led me to a variation on his thought:

"If every individual throughout the world who is a multi-million pound earner whether they be entertainers, entrepreneurs, or even old money noblemen/women, just put 5% of their net worth into a pot they could feed, cloathe and educate the poor of the world, without leaving a single human being out many times over".

Forbes magazine reported that there are over 700 billionaires in the world at present (although this figure is purported to have decreased by 23% due to the recession) - Imagine 700 donations of 5% of one billion pounds, earmarked for people in Haiti, or the victims of the Tsunami, drought and starvation in Africa and Asia and the list goes on. How much better would that ride now be for those people today thanks to those measly donations?

I could get trantirc here (you know go on and on and on and on...................) but it illustrates what Bill Hicks meant when referred to those who have too much invested in the ride. So much power is in the hands of so few to change this world and make it a better ride. Still the Cowell stable single, Clooney's concert and charitable organisations put some power in our hands, yes us ordinary folks, to have a positive influence on people's lives and whenever we are presented with that opportunity we should grab it with both hands. Why? Because one day the ride for us will become all too real and not so much fun so we will need someone to help us back on track.