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Thursday, January 15, 2009

In Union

I am a news addict; it connects me to my world. Filled with lessons to be learnt and with indicators of what the future might hold - it is also filled with stories that honour and horrify.

Amongst a report that a mother of a two-year-old girl watched and did nothing as her daughter died in severe pain, there is more global news of inhumanity to family, with current British Foreign Secretary David Miliband now claiming that the idea of a "war on terror" is a "mistake", as it puts too much emphasis on military force.

Meanwhile Israel is continuing its own version of warring against the terror of Hamas in its pounding of Gaza - with people wondering with each Palestinian civilian killed, when it will be one woman, one child too much. Both sides are fast losing integrity as the most recent casualty has been the United Nations itself, with part of its relief agency in Gaza City on fire after being shelled by the Israelis.

Yet, hope flows on.

Honest Hearts

As much as the news wires have been a source of the world's current maladies at the start of 2009, a source of hope can come from the news, too, (and as is usually the way) from the heart-warming stories of ordinary people.

One in particular (that makes me miss the rurality of Cyprus) is about a shopkeeper in the town of Settle who kept his hardware store open on Boxing Day in 2008.

Owner Tom Algie left the door open and asked customers to leave their payment in an honesty box, as he wanted the day off as well. He returned to find it stuffed with £187 in notes and coins. Even in the UK, honesty is still alive in the human spirit it seems.

It's also heart-warming to read about some not-so-ordinary people, too - some of my favourite talent is finally being rewarded, with early recognition coming from the Golden Globes recently.

I am a huge fan of British director Danny Boyle and our own lovely lass Kate Winslet (who I have long forgiven for the sell-out Titanic), so to see them up on international podiums receiving awards is great news. Boyle's film Slumdog Millionaire is a film worthy of merit, but I am biased as I really like the actor in the starring role Dev Patel, since his appearance in the Channel 4 coming-of-age series Skins.

On Right Tracks

Continuing with some honest bias, it's also good to read news reports that advocate views for the future, especially when reports suggest a topic I constantly push for - that the road to a better future is to inspire our children, rather than hammer our morality into them.

In an article about moral relativism, there is the view that if children are inspired to construct their own ideas of right and wrong, they are more likely to adhere to it than moral codes devised by authoritarian figures such as popes and patriarchal fathers.

Plus, something else we have been advocating on the blog for years now is making the headlines, too, in relation to the model of the future Internet where services are genuinely offered for free - so it is good to read we have been following a model that is hoped to become the norm for the Net.

Long-term readers will know that it has been a key part of Tarkan Deluxe's manifesto that we never make money from Tarkan's name (or any money at all for that matter), with even proceeds collected from original works going to worthwhile charities in the support of women and children in crisis.

It seems apt at this point to send an appreciative nod to our entire team of guest writers, made up from our friends, readers and professionals, whom have all offered their services and articles for free, working hard to keep up our standards as we approach half a decade of cyber existence.

Honest hearts in union keeping us honest - what could make a better story than that?

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