It is terrible how easily we bear the suffering of others. If only for one hour a day every man in the world could feel the hunger in the gut of a starving child in Bangladesh or Ghana or the Sudan, or the daily agony of what is happening to thousands of Syrian refugees perhaps the world would become a better place.
When one thinks about it, the concept of “Government” is a strange one for it assumes as its fundamental premise that certain men and women – human beings like you and me – can and should be allowed to take upon themselves the right to direct the rest of us what to do, presumably for our own good.
If you think about it carefully it seems impossible to reconcile two things which most people would very much like to believe – one, that they enjoy free will and in some ultimate sense are masters of their fate, and, two, that the God of all creation is omnipotent and has a master plan for us all.
It is frustrating, not to say humiliating, to think how much one is missing by not knowing any language except one’s own.
Consider yourself fortunate if you are right 51% of the time. Listen to the old Galician Jew, settled at last in his old age in a little house in an Israeli kibbutz after a hard lifetime including a brush with the unimaginable horror of Auschwitz.
When I was young, and benefited not only from a fresh and eagerly absorptive mind but also from a strong belief that an eternity of life stretched in front of me, I loved to read big books, books of immense length.
Sveinsson Knut, Canute the Great, King of England from 1016, King of Denmark from 1018 and King of Norway from 1030 until he died in 1035, was perhaps the most successful and effective of the early rulers of England.
If one had the power to give a child a single gift but no other, the gift to choose would be a love of reading.
In my 84th year the time for ambition is long past. Nobody gets a return match between himself and his destiny.
T20 cricket, the way it has developed, is unbalanced in favour of batsmen.
I have changed my mind about limited over cricket. When this slash and burn form of the game began to emerge prominently I was accustomed to dismiss it as a superficial and corrupt version of the great game.
Age has slowed me down but at least no day goes by without reading bringing me the fascinating and penetrating insights of other minds.
One of the things I enjoy the most is to browse in good bookstores and buy a stock of books to read and add to my library.
I find it hard to understand why most people never, literally never, read poetry.
I wonder what it would be like to exclude sport completely from one’s life for, say, one year?
Recently I read two poems which I want to share without much commentary – partly because they speak for themselves.
There is a never-ending battle against those who think – no, who are sure – they know what is best for us.
I like to tell the story of Tony Judt. Tony Judt was a writer on recent world history whom I greatly admire.
Everywhere in the world the ordinary man in the street has been brainwashed into supposing that the only thing that matters is economic success.
My wife’s garden is as much a work of art as a painting by a master spirit or a poet’s inspired sonnet or a perfectly composed piece of music.