The degradation of dignity

In Newsletter Editorial5 MinutesBy Dave McCoidSeptember 10, 2021

Sometimes you need a ‘thing’ to reset your internal metronome. I call it a ‘thing’ because it can be different from one person to the next. It might be doing something for one person, looking at something for another, or making/crafting something for someone else. Most of the time, a reset for me takes the form of a spell behind the wheel, preferably a decent distance. It’s a pleasure the modern socialist revolution seems hell bent on eliminating not far down the track according to Gavin’s editorial last week, so best I treasure it while I can.

I’ve had a couple of experiences recently where meeting special people served as a wonderful reset, reaffirming my belief that arrogantly disregarding traditional values and nature’s process is something done at our peril.

They were timely encounters as we near the 20th anniversary of 9/11, with its continued permeations affecting our everyday lives amid the pandemic-infused, climate-confused mayhem we all live in.

Both meetings were supremely calm, in some ways pockets of the past, I guess itself partly responsible for a western society so well served by the mechanisms of man, it seems totally ignorant to both the construct of such mechanisms, and the privilege they allow.

The first reset experience was a small company in a far-flung corner of the nation where wisdom hasn’t been cast to the side but instead presides over the day-to-day running of the operation. It aids immeasurably in the definition of bottom-line success. Admittedly, its philosophy is aided by the values of the community from where it sources its staff. But it is nonetheless a possible beacon of what a high-yield, low-emission economy might actually look like. In the end, the start and end of everything we do are the instilled values of both participants and the act.

Then, some weeks later, I happened upon a grandfather and grandson duo. Again, tucked away in a corner of rural New Zealand, they are enjoying a relationship I’m sure every youth and social service expert worth their salt would give their entirety to see replicated the length and breadth of the nation.

Central to their relationship is a truck, but it could have been anything – a fishing boat, farm, shoe shop, engineering workshop, florist or bakery. The grandfather knew a hell of a lot about trucks, an education amassed over a lifetime. At 15, the young bloke also knew a lot about trucks, learned from the experiences and wisdom his grandfather had already handed down for several years. The more time he spent with his grandad, the more he knew about trucks. He was adept at everything from cleaning to greasing. This young fellow’s weekends appeared lower on device engagement, higher on human and skills engagement.

Yet, the most impactful thing he said to me was this. “The thing I like most is the time spent with grandad and the chats and yarns we have just while we’re together.”

I left both experiences thankful for the life I’d had. No, I didn’t want to pursue what my parents had – you never have to – but it was a time when I could learn from the hands of people who they trusted could teach me well. As I’ve said so often before, most of those people, my heroes, are still dear friends today.

I hoped both the people working in the business mentioned above and the young bloke in the generational duo understood they had been gifted something special for the time in which they live, a time when the greedy, and those who coerce, determine much of what happens between the rise and fall of an ever-warmer sun.

In the beginning, I lamented the potential for further loss of freedoms looking forward. We shouldn’t forget that we’ve lost many worthwhile liberties in the way we run our businesses and teach our young, and the price we’re paying is all around us. The answers to tomorrow are still in the lessons of the past.

All the best

Dave McCoid