Mood

Mood

Mood, does it depend on which side of the bed
we get out of?
Is it the aftermath of verbal fisticuffs
with our friend or partner?
Has that painful twinge returned to plague
us once more?
Or what about fear of that impending appointment
with our doctor or dentist?

Perhaps our mood is determined by that
hangover with throbbing head and accompanying
regrets
Maybe the ‘international’ unsolicited phone caller
who threatens to cut off our internet connection
wound us up?
Or our mood induced by the awareness of all that
we have to do, always under so much pressure
Perhaps an inflated sense of responsibility?

But of course not all moods are low
Perhaps we are showing the smiley face
Waking up to happy memories, or better still
the joyous reality of the here and now
Is it your birthday, your graduation day,
even your wedding day?

Then again there are moods that come from shock,
From simmering anger, from all-consuming jealousy,
From deep frustration,  depression or existential angst
Surely the political climate, the spirit of the age,
or personal mounting debt will dampen our mood?

And I suppose it is possible to have a mood
of nothingness, of inertia, of ennui, of tedium
I wonder to what extent our mood is determined
by those around us, family, friends, work colleagues?
Are we free to choose our mood, or do they do it
for us/to us?
Or perhaps their mood is triggered by ours?

Emotions – reflected in moods –
The blessing and curse of being human –
the Emoticon we then present to the world

 

Ken Fisher

The Meaning Of Meaning

The Meaning of Meaning

In the midst of a debate on the purpose of a university education
some have mused on the value of considering ‘the meaning of meaning’
as compared to more practical vocational education

When reflecting on the choice of university course
One writer mused on what was for better or worse
Is it wise to stick only with subjects vocational
Or risk electing for options less rational?

Doing something practical may seem common sense
Developing skills that can earn pounds and pence
Don’t spend all your time on high-flown theory
Cramming your head, making eyes go bleary

The ‘new’ universities are so down-to-earth
Ensuring you get your full money’s worth
Useful learning is the watchword, every moment counts
Getting you ’work ready’ – they proudly announce

But is there not sometimes a place for loftier thoughts
Eternal values beyond profit and loss?
Time to examine ancient concepts and wisdom
History, politics, science and all kinds of –ism

Indeed above and beyond subjects we can pursue
We need time to consider all humankind can do
And in these meditations and hours of quiet reasoning
We may yet discover the very ’meaning of meaning’

Ken Fisher

Utility

Utility

I wonder if in this modern world
Worth’s only measure is Utility
Unless we can calibrate the gain
It holds little plausibility

In dark days of war and long thereafter
Essentially production was restricted
Utility the hallmark for everything
Lest by waste we were afflicted

Of course the aim of most artifacts
Is to serve our human need
Objects are therefore produced
As the market has decreed

Classical economists propounded
An action is right if happiness it brings
Utilitarianism promotes this belief
Joy the measure of all things

But surely in this wondrous world
Exist things some consider useless
But lacking these elements of our life
Mere production rendered fruitless

We cannot simply stamp a utility mark
On our regard for one another
Art, music, and faith’s eternal quest
Dominant functionality cannot smother

The treasures which flow from the Aladdin’s cave
Of our modern supermarkets
Help to meet our insatiable desire
Our boundless pleasure is their target

But ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ however much
Might try our hearts to please
Yet in our souls we seek for more
To set our minds at ease

And thus we continue in pursuit
Of that whose only function
Is to lift us from mere usefulness
And grant emotion’s unction

Ask not only what something does
What purpose can it serve?
Rather how it might life enhance
And thus our praise deserve

Ken Fisher

Is Normal Life Sustainable If We Always Tell The Truth?

Is Normal Life Sustainable If We Always Tell the Truth?

 

A recent TV programme* advanced the proposition
That to sustain daily life we must resort to deception
Apparently social intercourse forces us to lie
To uphold concord the truth we must deny

Of course there is some debate on the nature of a lie
To condemn all false words or actions is to oversimplify
There is a difference surely between a fib or small white lie
And a monstrous whopper which you can rarely justify

Proclaiming the whole truth may well result in hurt
When we make no effort to soften a harsh word
We speak with veracity but how will it be received?
Surely the hearer is bound to feel aggrieved

Research has claimed we shrink from boldly stating
The stark truth to others when we ought to be berating
Afraid of offending  their feelings or causing alienation
We meekly soften the blow, espouse prevarication

We lie most commonly to our own kith and kin
Perhaps we consider that is less a sin
Or perhaps we are too afraid to disturb the uneasy peace
Recognising reality would family discord increase

But in business too we often use fabrication
Describing our products using much exaggeration
Trade descriptions legislation is meant this to prevent
But unhappy customer reports are still widely evident

Another aspect of untruthfulness is the deliberate omission
Thus it is what we fail to say that merits admonition
We sanitise awkward facts and situations
Thus producing false hopes and expectations

Of course in life there are times when truth can’t be avoided
And these situations must never be exploited
Professionals giving advice from truth should not depart
Each in their own field should play an honest part

No matter the extent to which we feel we can be economical
With truth, we must n’er migrate to a world quite mythological
Rather we must seek to live our lives with true sincerity
Truth our moral compass, the bulwark of integrity

Ken Fisher

 

  • Horizon: A Week Without Lying – The Honesty Experiment

Trust

Trust

Trust, a concept vital to our life together
Trust takes time to build up
But can be lost in an instant, with even one breach
That mutual reliance suddenly evaporates

Trusting starts in infancy, a one-way transaction
The toddler grasping her mother’s hand
The unflinching belief in our parents’ love
Yet even then this trust can be broken

And as life progresses we learn to trust
Professionals assure us that our trust is warranted
“Trust me, I’m a doctor!”
Fortunately this covenant is rarely violated

Trust is so vital in commerce and trade
But it is not an equal contest between
Suppliers and personal customers
Hence the need for consumer watch dogs

And what can be said of the current wobble
In our belief that our banking affairs
Are in safe hands? Or even worse
Accurate assessment of medical tests

But nonetheless we must continue to trust
Trust that our food will not poison us
Trust that the MoT testers are not cheating
Trust in all who drive or pilot public transport
Trust in those who design and maintain our roads and railways
Trust in those who provide advice of all kinds
Trust in our politicians and institutions to govern with integrity
Trusting one another in our relationships
We might even find ourselves trusting the weather forecasters!

Ken Fisher

 

See also my poem : Truth

Truth

Truth

Truth

Why do we so often evade it?
Is truth too painful?
Is truth impossible to define?
Is truth only ever relative?

What is truth anyway?

Some say: it is the correspondence
of language or thought
to an independent reality

This seems to assume that reality
is the actual existence, as opposed to
that which is merely imaginary

Does truth matter?

Can we live without truth?

Philosophers down the ages
Have wrestled with truth
Theologians tried to lead us to truth

The Way, the Truth, the Life

Car salesmen may have been economical with the truth
Politicians have their own version (or their party’s) of truth
Good parents implore that we always tell the truth

So truth seems to matter

Perhaps it concerns us more
In the age of Fake News
When prevarication, falsehoods and
downright lies seem to proliferate

But can we afford to dispense with truth?

Trust is closely aligned with truth
And is surely built on truth
When trust is lost what happens to
contracts, social relations, credit,
professional advice, the purity of drugs,
air traffic control, the safety of buildings,
indeed all incorporeal property

Tear up truth and shred the civilized world

Ken Fisher

PS but just sometimes, we need to be gentle with the truth

 

See also my poem Trust

Time and Change

Time & Change

There is no stopping time’s progression
Its forward movement we can’t question
And as each year succeeds the last
We marvel at its speed so fast

The years progress at such a pace
It seems as if life is a race
Each month heralds something new
Novel sensations to value

Yet not for all, this speeding motion
Experiencing sluggish locomotion
The daily duty the quotidian round
Becomes for them life’s burial ground

One thing is certain what e’er the pace
With fear or joy we must embrace
The fact of change inevitable
Its advance inexorable

How to handle time and change?
From neither can we be estranged
Time sometimes called the fourth dimension
Change constantly prompts transformation

If we might learn time to contain
Within each day’s confining frame
And change accept with patient calm
Our souls thus shielded against harm

No force can e’er time’s progress halt
And change is part of life’s default
Within these elements seek contentment
Respond with grace and n’er resentment

Ken Fisher

Turmoil

Turmoil

It has been said we are a nation in turmoil
Beset by confusion, upheaval, ferment and unrest
No still waters, everything kept on the boil
Unsure what to do, how to act for the best

The political scene is fraught with agitation
Factions convinced of the merits of their case
No sense of unity within the nation
The clamour of the marketplace

But turmoil is not just in the world external
Our very souls oft engaged in inner warfare
We have lost the desire for love fraternal
Obsessed by self we sink into despair

Would some power bring calmness to the storm
Restore peace where conflict still prevails
Make cool reason once again the norm
Rebalance the constant shifting of the scales

Ken Fisher

Thought

Thought

Not animal, vegetable, or mineral
Sometimes fact, fiction or myth
As illusive as quicksilver
Unlike solid, liquid or gas

Who can define thought?
Or measure its power
To delight or scare or anger
An alchemy of energy

Would we be rid of this tyranny?
Which dominates our mind
Determines our deeds
And destroys our peace

Thought, intangible and unreal
Initiator of action from idea
By which we make a kirk or mill
From every brooding notion

And yet the delight of thought
The joy of inner anticipation
Treasured memories of happier days
All realized within that inward eye

Let’s rejoice in all that thought begets
In quiet contemplation or mental gymnastics
Find solace, peace, or ready stimulation
A memory bank and spur to this day’s living

Ken Fisher

 

GDPR

GDPR

The latest challenge to face our British nation
Is the General Data Protection Regulation
Now we must comply with detailed rules
To help us, some guidelines are useful tools

Curiously it is Europe who commands we comply
And Brexit appears to offer no alibi
In the UK the Information Commission
Demands our complete and ready submission

It would appear all these changes come in the wake
Of frequent liberties that intruders may take
With our personal data which we let others hold
As in on-line processing we have entered so bold

Big Data is the feature that might fill us with fear
As facts known about us break every frontier
Thus personal data ascends to the cloud
And lands where we surely would not have allowed

So all these new rules have been devised
To ensure of our data use we keep appraised
Above all, our privacy must be secured
And of that fact let us all be assured

Businesses, charities and all kinds of organisation
Will find they must meet their new obligation
To ensure that they comply with GDPR
Whose ramifications stretch both wide and far

One aspect of GDPR that surely will scare
Are the punishments if firms seem not to care
And it’s best that all submit to the ICO Regulator
Who is the ulitimate judge and arbitrator

So I hope all goes well in data protection
And miscreants will soon suffer detection
But don’t let all your links to others be lost
A price we may think is too high a cost

Ken Fisher

An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth

 

I wonder how often the truth can be inconvenient
Just as the reality of global warming won’t go away
Plastic pollution another scourge we must prevent
But why can’t we put it off till some future day?

The state of the Health Service revealed in latter days
But those who are rarely ill prefer not to know
Why make us responsible for every national malaise?
Such awareness we would far rather forgo

And are we not well versed at ignoring harsh reality?
Not just near at home but all around the globe
The plight of so many living in abject poverty
Local beggars point to their lack of hope

In politics too, truth is often hard to find
Perhaps its concealment quite deliberate
Each party advocates a state of mind
Promoting their own reality in all debate

At the personal level are we too not duplicitous?
Often indulging in elaborate deceptions
Of others’ welfare allegedly solicitous
Much more concerned for our own satisfaction

Truth remains truth no matter how inconvenient
Not destructible by time’s effluxion or greater distance
Or by falsehoods spread as we may find expedient
Veracity stands firm against deceit’s resistance

Ken Fisher