Suffering and it’s Antidote

I went down to the Gold Coast today, and met an old friend. Or rather someone who was more in that “person I know and like a lot” but never quite moved fully into that ‘friend’ category. I like to think that’s changing.

I like to think *I* am changing. Coming alive in a way that I wasn’t before cancer.

I think I’m more open to people now. To friendship, to investing in people. Even if they hurt and betray me, that doesn’t matter. What matters is breathing life, hope, dignity, sharing, courage, strength into the world wherever possible.

The video is a combination of streams, and lamentably, the quality is not good. Sound is all over the shop. For a large part of one of the streams, the camera on my shoulder is looking BACKWARD, so what you see is the things I’m walking away from. Hmmm … is cancer back there somewhere ?

I like to think it is.

I saw a young man being beaten today, 4v1. They were punching him in the face while he lay prone on the ground.

I didnt think, I just surged over, yelling. I liked that yell, if I’m completely honest. It was a yell of absolute authority. Like some kind of samurai. I know I sound like a dickhead saying that, but if you were there, you’d agree. All the people around were a bit amazed, I think. Why weren’t any of them yelling ?

I stormed forward, yelling “GET THE FUCK OFF HIM !! YOU DONT HIT SOMEONE ON THE GROUND !!”

The aggressors scattered, and police arrived a few moments later, to little effect, regrettably. The victim apparently didnt want to press charges, he just wanted to get away from there. Apparently he had “looked at them wrong”.

When I yelled, it was …like the voice of your father, catching you doing something shameful, something profane. There was power in it, I think that’s why they ran away. I have no illusions, I know they could have turned and beaten the shit out of me as well. Or could they ? I know one thing – I wouldn’t just lie down for them.

It’s funny, I appall violence. It is disgusting to me. Dirty and sick. Sad and shameful.

And yet, when I stand up. Stand up firm, strong, I feel something. Maybe it’s just that manly thing, that ape thing. That readiness to do what you have to do in the face of a violent aggressor. At least in my case it’s righteous. Those guys really were scumbags.

In the stream I reflect on that. Part musing, part rant. Just processing what happened.

The thing is – that dark act, it darkened my outlook. Darkened what I had to say. The message.

It’s like cancer. Spreads. Grows.

I’m believing more and more that darkness, hate, xenophobia, fear, isolation, anxiety – all those negative energies are a concrete and measurable force in our world. Hard to see and measure, sure, but existent, real, something tangible. And I’m further seeing that kindness, compassion, courage, decency, humanity, honesty, vulnerability – all of those things .. counteract them, those positive things also spread in the sharing.

I think the seesaw in our society is out of whack, the balance is wrong. There’s more dark than light, if I’m honest.

But we can change that.

You and me.

It applies at the personal level, the culture level, religiosity, at the national and global level. We need to embrace our neighbour. Share, be honest. Teach, accept, learn, grow. If we can do those things, we can save ourselves, our children and our world.

I think my experience with cancer has taught me that.

The darkness, it doesn’t have to win.

Anyway, I met some truly awesome guys later, funny as hell. Charming even. Young, but marked by suffering, I think they had their own measure of empathy. Wild, frenzied almost even, but good. Looking for truth, looking for meaning. Seekers. Haha, I truly enjoyed them. I’d like to see them again one day.

They called me “Military Santa”


I like that. I may even need to do a brand change 🙂

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