Don’t Believe the Hype

I’ll tell you where the anger started today. It was this article that was headline news on the radio, that our PM was ‘furious’ immigrant kids would get better treatment than UK children. This is the same woman who, earlier in the week, pronounced that faith lies behind what she does. I’m not sure what religion tells leaders to treat people from overseas as second class citizens, but this certainly no religion I want any part of, and this makes me feel that I’m quite happy being agnostic.

My bad mood was further compounded by a badly asked and placed gaming-related question, but the anger in that has been largely removed by writing out the problem. However, if I wanted a reminder that however bad you think life is, it’s really not, I’ve had it in spades today. The four car shunt half a mile from our house I crawled past, followed by the car fire that spread to a house, three doors down from my daughter’s school. I saw the family standing outside in shock, clearly devastated at what had transpired. I can’t even imagine what they must be going through.

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Then on my way home a car had been abandoned, elegantly coned off, door still open, left as a casualty of too much for the emergency services to deal with, and I realised at this point that however bad life gets, you NEVER give up and walk away. Though it is very easy to understand why so many people do, and why drugs become a really rather attractive alternative to having to deal with life ‘cold.’ I then remember a conversation earlier in the week with my sports masseuse, who asked me if I’d ever taken drugs for depression.

I vividly recall this conversation in my late teens with my GP, who I doubt is still alive. It was very simple, he said,  if you’re not confirmed with having a chemical imbalance, NEVER just go to medicine. Look for the answers elsewhere, within yourself before you default to drugs. Chemicals only cure certifiable and confirmed bodily dysfunction. They won’t make you happy. This is the same guy who when I was suffering with chest issues at 14 said, in no uncertain terms, that taking up smoking would kill me in my 20’s. I still believe both these things not to be true per se,  but to demonstrate how doctors ought to work. It isn’t just writing a script, you need to talk to patients, to know and understand them before there’s a chance to simply condemn then to an existence potentially with blinkers.

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The same, I realise this morning, is true for game design. You don’t just ask a question and expect that to solve your problem. You should be interaction with those who have played the longest as well as trying to encourage new people to come forward and offer their opinions. You certainly can’t base your entire modus operandi on statistics generated from the game itself. It might seem to give all the answers, but removes a vital human element from the equation. If you run the country, you don’t wave faith in people’s faces, and you certainly don’t pretend that you’re any better than the rest of the planet, just because you happen to be in charge. I don’t care who you are, people deserve more respect.

Then I come to me. I’d like to have an uninterrupted night’s sleep please, on my front, and not cause my husband and kids any more discomfort than I already have. I’d like a good friend’s shingles to not be horrible, another good friend to not be so stressed about her future, and everyone else the chance to catch a break today. I want to hug you all, tell you how important you are (coz that’s true) and remind you that the only way life gets better is when we help each other. It doesn’t take long, is often as simple as hugging someone via a Tweet, and the difference it makes to people’s well being is often immeasurable.

Be the difference today, not the person just thinking of themselves.