In the last post we were talking about ideas as wildfire: they burn and destroy, they have awesome power and are therefore dangerous. There is a school of thought very dominant in the world at present that power is intrinsically good. Needless to say this is an idea promoted exclusively by the powerful, just as the rich (actual and would-be) have wonderful arguments in favour of riches.
The idea that most people associate with wildfire is its infectiousness. If you say something has caught on like wildfire, you are likely to be talking about some self-propagating fad or idea. The catch is that not all of what spreads in this fashion benefits the planet.
Rama reports that I told him “It is important to be a nobody,” and Kathy, a blogger who collects quotes, took it up; leaving me wondering what had been meant when it was said, in a certain pub in Fulham. I should know because it passed my lips, but I don’t, for I was acting as a messenger. Things like this ask to be said and I say them. Explanations are reasons guessed at after the event; perhaps that makes the explanations worthless. But it seems to me that if you are a “somebody”, you are trying to conform to the dictates of your role, whether it be Queen of the Realm, Prime Minister, or chairman of some committee. If you are a nobody—without ambition to be a somebody—you have no excuse to be other than yourself. Being yourself is the best thing you can possibly do in this life. Though I try and avoid beliefs and dogmas, the sentence I just highlighted is something I hold as true. Trying to be a somebody, in my book, merits a fine or a forfeit, like the “Go directly to Jail. Do not collect £200” card in Monopoly; for you have insulted your own Self.
This is by way of an introduction to The Scary Guy—his real registered name. He’s a man with a mission and for all my mistrust of gurus and teachers I can’t find fault with what he is doing. He goes round schools doing a presentation against bullying. He has a special way of doing that. He points out that none of us are exempt from the cruel sin of bullying. Children pick it up from adults—parents and teachers. Children make each others’ lives misery through it. He invites them—and us— to take up a challenge: for seven days and nights don’t say another negative word about any human being on this planet. Call everyone by their real name. His mission is aimed at schoolchildren, but he has a wider objective: the total elimination of hate, violence and prejudice—worldwide. I read somewhere that he asked himself: “Am I a genius?” Perhaps he is. I have the feeling he’s a nobody as well—I hope so. May his ideas spread like wildfire and burn up that hate, violence and prejudice.