Sometimes, not often enough I suppose, amidst the ordinary joys and tribulations of everyday living – the problems of planning for the immediate future, keeping track of what is going on in this beautiful and hideous world, enjoying a few drinks and laughter with the boys, the abundant joys and occasional trials of family life, the harassment of daily living – the mind does occasionally set upon great questions of life and death.
I once found myself discussing with a young man and his girlfriend the existence of God, or rather whether God exists or not. Strange, now I come to think of it, how it is most often the young – more eager and searching than us older ones whom life has wearied in the heart and worn down in the mind – it is the young who ask these questions – perhaps it is a sign of youth to want to know the big answers; we older ones are content with smaller certainties…..
More than once I have quoted what the great historian Edward Gibbon wrote in his Decline And Fall of the Roman Empire: history, he wrote, is “little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind.” The latest crimes are as bad as ever.
Having spent 52 years of my life in the sugar industry, including working closely with governments and regional institutions along the way, if there is one thing I have learned it is the extreme frailty of all grand plans.
We have to look forward to a long and terrible age of increasing and fearsome devastation.
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