I am not, right now, going to engage in any in-depth analysis about whether or not my life has been easy, about whether or not I’ve had it better (or worse) than most. What I will say is that I’ve experienced a fair share of challenges in my life – it hasn’t all been roses and bonbons. In fact, some of it’s been really fucking awful.

But, I remain hopeful. I try to look for the good stuff. I no longer call what I do ‘praying’. I was raised to ‘pray without ceasing’. That not only confused me, it also didn’t work out so well. But I do continually hope for the best. I believe positive thoughts are helpful. And, I admit, I start every day hoping for a ‘happy surprise’.

These are this morning’s ‘surprises’:

I was greeted with an email update on the petition I signed requesting the UK government reconsider its position on Syrian refugees. Here’s how that email concludes:

“Those who have already reached Europe are no longer in immediate danger and the European countries in which they arrive have a duty to provide adequate protection and support to refugees within their territory. The UK stands ready to provide practical support to those frontline Member States who are experiencing particularly serious pressures. However, those that remain in the immediate region around Syria are more likely to be particularly vulnerable. It is right that we should focus our efforts on helping the most vulnerable which is why we are expanding the VPR scheme.” – Home Office

Then, I read that National Geographic has handed over 73% control to Fox Media.

These are not happy surprises.

In fact, these points sink me into deeper despair about the state of the world we live in.

In our great, civilized Western world, we are allowing our governments to reject those in need – as well as commitment to our continental partners – while in secretive closed-door meetings they discuss our ‘national security’.

The ‘need’ for profit has allowed a once leading geographic journal to be handed over to an openly acknowledged climate change denier.

I really don’t think I’m a doom-monger, but this – this way of operating – this is not something I am comfortable with.

The man has referred to the government’s position as Orwellian. He’s not wrong. There’s a whole lot of double-speak going on. There’s a whole lot of fear about speaking out against certain ‘truths’ – the military, ‘threats’, ‘values’, ‘infiltration’. . . . There’s a growing lack of transparency. There’s growing pressure on us – the public – to accept that ‘they’ – the government – know best.

Meanwhile, we hand over media operations to organisations that, quite frankly, distort fact. ‘News’ and ‘profit’ should not be bedfellows, yet we no longer even question this. ‘News’, information, and, now, with the acquisition of National Geographic, science grants are commodities managed and controlled for profit. Think about that.

No. Really. Think about that.

Am I the only one who’s feeling not so good about this?

Is it just me?

As I write this, I hear in the background the news on the radio – the arrest rates for ‘terror suspects’ are at record highs and a high-street supermarket is closing multiple stores because of profit concerns.

Terror and profit.

These are the things we must worry about; these are the things we must manage our lives around.

It must be so. That’s what the government reports on the ‘news’ say. . . .