Day 18 (Monday 18th December 2017)
18% of British Police officers are expected to work on Christmas Day.
In other parts of the world there is a mixed response to police involvement
in the community. There is tension in Catalonia, ever since eleven days prior
to the 1st October referendum, when the Civil Guard mounted Operation Anubis
to raid the offices of government ministries and detain officials involved in the referendum,
which resulted in large protests by independence supporters. The Civil Guard (the Spanish
non-urban police) positioned 5,000 officers in a large ferry boat decorated with Looney Tunes'
characters Sylvester , Wile E. Coyote and Tweety Pie. In Catalonia it has been a tradition since the late
17th century for the nativity scene to include a "Caganer": a small model of a defecating figure
(originally a peasant wearing the distinctive local hat and rustic clothing). Since the 1940s the model has
increasingly become a caricature of someone famous or a political figure. This year the most
popular figure is proving to be a defecating Tweety Pie, symbolising the Civil Guard/The Police.
Today's piece is written by Trevor Black. I had the pleasure of working with Trevor a few years ago - he is very bright and an inspiring and capable colleague. Mind you, he is inspiring and capable regardless of whether he is a colleague or not - gifted academically, with artistic flair and a constantly curious mindset. For two and a half years he stepped off the corporate career ladder (despite having excellent prospects), to spend time reading, engaging, thinking, learning and writing. He wrote a daily blog about his thoughts and experiences on his long-standing site, swartdonkey, (he still blogs now) and deliberately went out of his way to try new things and test his concepts. He remains interested in investment and concerned about the tensions between global and local, the issues of migration and land ownership/exploitation, Universal Basic Income (where he is at the bleeding edge of thinking and application) and community and empowerment. He has recently resumed investing to support his other ventures - some of which are linked to South Africa, where he was born and raised (he is back in South Africa at the moment visiting family and friends). You can find him on Twitter - @trevorblack or, if you are lucky, you might bump into him in the beautiful town of Burford in the Cotswolds, in the UK, where he lives.
Detachment isn't the same as not caring. It is the practice of separating who we are from what we are experiencing, but also recognising the part everything plays. Just a little distance.
Darkness and dawn are not separate.
Their contrast allows us to think and feel. We know things through their opposites.
We exist in our opposites.
Recognising and being aware that I am struggling isn't the same thing as being a weak person.
Weakness and strength are not separate. They are both part of the same powerful force that pushes us on. That pushes us back.
We pulse with the stuff of life.
Detachment is the awareness that dawn follows darkness, which follows dawn, which follows darkness.
We can't be something temporary. We can't be the darkness. We can't be the dawn.
That little twist to the story allows us to enjoy both.
With a wry smile.
With a pervading calm.
With another step.