Truthful Tuesday (from 24 Nov 2020)

I saw an answer to this one yesterday and thought it was an interesting question. It’s one of the Truthful Tuesday prompt series, and PCGuyIV asks:

Do you now or have you ever been employed doing what you love?
Do you agree with this saying [presumably work to live or live to work] or is it a bunch of poppycock, and why?

Yes, I’ve spent a lot of my career doing something I love – I design and write software. It is truly satisfying sitting down with a blank piece of paper and then designing, then implementing, something, which solves a particular problem. I can’t ever imagine myself not doing that, whether paid or not.

And, because this is software, it is all in my head. Any disabilities I might have are irrelevant. I’m every bit as strong now as when I was able-bodied.

My latest project – it is just at the initial stage of going live – is a small web site containing COVID numbers, just for our village. Nobody asked me to do it, but they are numbers that I’ve been collecting for a while and thought I would share. Hopefully other people will find them useful, too.

It is still work. When I worked for the banks up in London, even though I felt ever so fortunate to be doing something I enjoyed, I still had to be there. My time out of the house was about 6:30AM – 7:30PM, Monday to Friday. I wonder how many others would fancy those hours? Plus I did other odds and sods besides.

There were obviously other sources of discomfort, the main one being when clients expected something impossible, which happened all the time. But they were just the chaff – writing the systems themselves, I’d have done for food.

So the second part of the question, work was about half of life. Mathematically. 13+/24 hours, 5+/7 days. If work’s enjoyability didn’t play a massive role in life’s enjoyability, something would have been very wrong!

Fandango’s Provocative Question (25 November 2020)

For today’s Provocative Question, Fandango asks:

Is it more important to you to be able to help yourself, help your family, help your friends, help your society, or help the world?

I think this is another question which has different answers, depending on context.

You’ll often hear it said regarding health that you’ve got to get yourself sorted out before you can hope to be of use to anybody else. For example, I had to get myself well. to the point where I was able to get myself ready, get out of the house, onto the bus etc. etc. to the hospital, before I was able to help any patients at the hospital.

On the other hand, you can imagine scenarios where that might be far from true. Elected politicians, for example. Helping themselves, their family or their friends should be the last thing on their mind (I’ll leave you to ponder that one!), but they are elected to represent society, so you could argue that that should be the priority.

The interesting thing here is that I haven’t yet mentioned the “world” level, and I think that maybe comes in at a personal level, what we consume and who we spend money with. The first challenge there, of course, is to determine exactly what the world’s interests actually are – generally if you’re helping one person, you’re harming someone else

How Dare You!

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 25 November 2020, impertinent.

The teacher accuses of slack,
The boy who’d been wrong answers back,
You’re not a grown up,
You’re nought but a pup,
But the teacher is taken aback.

Actually, not so much the prompt word, but certainly while composing my response, I was taken straight back to my own schooldays. The school I attended, they really didn’t like you to answer back. Whereas in later life we might ultimately respond with a curt “fuck you”, if a teacher accused a pupil of something, regardless of whether innocent or guilty of the offence, then the pupil was in the wrong, even for disputing the accusation.

My daughter passed through school five-or-so years ago, and I am pleased that this is one area where teaching had improved enormously. A lot of thought has obviously been given to the pastoral side of teaching, with teachers recognising that their role is more to impart knowledge than to enforce regimentation.