The other day I was accused of being naïve. This is not a new comment. I am often told to get ‘real’. If I tut at people’s over exuberant acceptance of dubious facts, they snort their disapproval at my ‘old fashioned’ morality. When they say all this, they are really condemning me for not joining in the most recent ‘scapegoat’ campaign.
People roll their eyes in exasperation when I query the supposed take over, by foreigners, in our little market town. I hadn’t been aware of such a take over, I say. Get back in the ‘real world’, they snap. We are being over-run. Jobs taken.
No. We have immigrants in the town, this is true. Picking vegetables for a pittance is a job locals will not do. I stop one day and really listen hard to hear this annoyance, and yes, we have Polish and Russian languages around us, I daresay a few others. Well I hadn’t especially heard them, but then I spent so many years wandering through foreign towns that the cosmopolitan sounds never impinge – it is natural to my ear. And really, as I point out to my ‘friends’, aren’t we are all immigrants in these islands. Maybe an unbroken line, from the original Celts, might claim ownership of these islands (I don’t believe in unbroken lines, knowing what men and women are likely to be getting up to!)
It is true, I do think we need to put a cap on the numbers arriving, because we are small and already have 60+ million living on very little land. But not because I do not like them. All, that I have had dealings with here and abroad, have been for the most part as kind, considerate and polite as any population are. But they are all thieves, wastrels, spongers and drug barons, my accusers say. I disagree again. They aren’t all like that; undoubtedly many are, as there are many among us indigenous population who are bad.
My accusers point out I live in a ‘dream world’ – well yes, that’s true, for many hours a day – I write fiction :) however this dream world I write about is fuelled by experiences of the real world. When I write about death and disaster it is because I have either witnessed or experienced similar (maybe not as over egged as in my fiction:) If I write about emotional turmoil, I have suffered this. Poverty and want, I have certainly been there.
I have observed human nature, for over 60 years, from every continent on the planet. I have studied, as well as observed, social norms and breakdowns. I do know what this real world is. When they accuse me of living in a quiet village, so obviously out of touch I don’t know reality from fantasy, I point out they only see the quiet roads and cul de sacs, the gently humming village shops. Live here, I tell them, and you will know about the murders, drugs, prostitution, the knife fights and crime – they happen everywhere, even quiet villages!
I am not now, nor ever have been interested in a person’s sexual preference, so, when eyes are rolled and incomprehension shown at my confession of not knowing, or having any desire to know, if so and so is obviously a homosexual, I say why would they wish to know? A person is a person.
If I care not what nationality, colour, religion or sexual preference someone is, do not notice if a person is red headed, short, tall, thin or fat as long as they are pleasant to me, don’t mess with me, don’t enforce their ways on me, this is not naivety. If I prefer to sidestep the hysterical and prurient scandal mongering of the modern media; prefer to believe in reading the entire and original article that the out of context remark has been taken from, see the original research to establish how valid the trials were, instead of accepting what’s trending now, this is not naivety, this is not burying my head in the sand. This is seeing the whole picture not the frame.