55. Community

Described by Hitler as “the most dangerous woman in Europe”. What better inspiration than the Queen Mother?

What has happened to the world in recent times?  Aha, now there’s a question that gets asked at least 500 billion times a day.  “In the old days” they begin, “if something bad happened we’d all plug together to see it through” they finish.  Of course this refers, mainly, to the Second World War.  In those days the people of Britain used to club together with good old British bull dog spirit and see to it that Betty at number 64 had enough coal for the fire and that little Timmy had a sixpence for some toffee.  It was this community spirit that kept British hopes up during that terrible period, and it made people appreciate both life and others.

In the modern day only a fool would say that things haven’t taken a slide, but in context, how much worse are they?  Yes, in Britain there are plenty of naughty gangsters and thugs who think that having an electric tag around their ankle some how means that they are part of the groovy gang.  But these people don’t count.  They resigned their stake in society and good riddance.  So what about the overwhelming majority?  Well I have good news; they are still putting up the bunting, delivering coal to Betty and seeing to it that Timmy has a toffee treat for pudding.

It’s true, the human race has hope.  Make no lie about it, there are terrible atrocities happening right now, over the last year thousands have died in the Middle East as a result of the Arab Spring.  The crisis in Syria has me weep on a daily basis.  And we all hope that the violence soon comes to an end.  The Syrian people will stick together and they will prosper, it will take time, but it will happen.  They will have unity.

Here in the UAE it is important to have a few core friends, to build your own little community, although sometimes its not always easy.  On a day to day basis these are the people you may just see at work, you may just hang out with them at the pub, or even go to the gym together.  The likelihood is that you may have only known them for a matter of months but if something goes wrong, you can be confident that they will offer the support you may very well need.

For years I hung out by myself over here, and I never had a large core of UAE friends, just 2.  I think back to my own hardship and think how fortunate I was to have them, they came through for me when I needed them.  When the going gets tough, a surrounding community is worth its weight in gold bullion.

When needed in times of crisis your close community of friends will be there to offer you a bed for the night, go out with you for a few lagers or you’ll just watch a crap TV show together.  It is at this point that they stop being just a close community of friends, and become your best friends.

It doesn’t matter how bad it’s been, you will never feel more touched and more part of something special, and that is something that a handsome UAE salary can’t buy you.  Unless of course they’ve made you watch Keeping up with the Kardashians, then you’re within your rights to kick off…

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