This is the first of a short series of posts on the state of the world and how we can avoid catastrophe, or not. This one may be the most important.
I quote verbatim from the Sir Tom Stoppard morality drama Darkside, written to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon. Thank you to Graham for alerting me to its existence.
“So woe to you. Oh woe to you and me. And woe to all of us. But we can save the earth from turning to dust and bones. Dust and bones; from fire and flood.
Look here’s the thing. Here’s what I’m saying. The Earth is the common. You can’t save it for yourself, but you can save it for others. And the others will save it for you. The other is us, and we are the other. We are of a kind. We are natural born to kindness, which means to act as to our kind, as kin to kin, as kindred, which is to act kindly.
What is the good? It’s nothing but a contest of kindness. To be unkind is against nature and it makes us feel bad. To be selfish is against nature because it is against our kindness.
We are as natural born to unselfishness as a mother to her baby. Her milk is the milk of human kin and kindness.
But when we live for trickery and gain, we turn against nature. And nature will turn against us.
We will be lords of dust. And bones.”
I’ve not asked for permission to put this up – I’ll take it down if it causes a problem.
The full play is well worth a listen if you can listen for about 50 mins. It’s only on BBC iPlayer until 2 Sept.