If there is one thing that has amazed me about being housebound is that you find the time to do the things you have always put off. For as long as I remember I had avoided the burden of watching programmers that demanded thought. When I worked I wanted my TV to take me away from reality and provide a gentle escape route. I noticed not long before I was forced to stay at home that I have moved away from the bubble gum side of the TV world to the brain engaged and thoughtful programming. I still enjoy the odd program for the Eastenders and Star Trek genre but more and more I have a desire to understand and discover the world around me. I suppose with the mixed up way I have lived my life waiting to learn until I was older isn’t really surprising, but I just wish it had been something I discovered long ago. More than any other I am drawn to programs which examine people and most of all those who have committed crime of any kind. As a child I had no direction for the type of work I wanted to do, now I wish I had either been a Criminal Psychologist or a Pathologist, there are a couple of BBC dramas that I am sure partly sparked this, yet it really is the documentaries that I love. Some will think this is morbid but it isn’t.
A couple of times I have mentioned that I like to be able to understand both sides in anything and be able to argue both sides even if I totally hate what it stands for. On top of this I strongly believe we should try to never condemn any ones actions until we understand them. We all have gut reactions to things, these can be good if you are answering question on a TV game show, but not so good when looking at someones life. I also now believe strongly that we also need to understand history make sense of today. Without understanding how our world got to this point and what effect it has on society, then we can’t understand the people in out society. The childhood question that bugs all parent is ‘Why?’ well I think it is the most important word in our language, without ‘Why’ we know nothing.
I am so impressed with the justice system we are seeing in Norway this week and the trial of Anders Breivik. I want like everyone else to see this guy sent to jail with no possible release, but I also want to understand ‘Why’. All of us unfortunately have seen trials of such people before, but there is something different, something more human to his treatment that is refreshing. He deserves no pity and no mercy but when we stop treating criminals as human we degrade our enter species. The phrase, ‘Human Rights’ is heard all over the place these days and I think has somehow become twisted, to me my human rights are to be given food and water, clothing and warmth, not to be manhandled without reason or to be abused and to be treated with respect. That is were they end, anything after that are privileges we earn by our actions in life.
I urge all of you to ask the question ‘Why?’, more often. Don’t accept what is pouring out at you from newspaper, twitter or the TV soap land, don’t wait until your excuses for the TV you watch run out. Look at everything and question everything, return to the curiosity you were born with, because life without that word is the life of a puppet.