Last week  spoke about the wonderful way the people involved in the repairs of our electricity supply all pulled together to be able to do the job, the pieces of the whole being the vital parts rather than the whole itself. Today though, I look at the underside of what took place.

Day after day, the workmen fought against the ever changing beast which was the faulty power supply, putting in all manner of fixes as they chased the damage down. Talking to them, they were always perplexed at just how far reaching this problem was getting. Eventually, they opened up a larger and larger hole in the road, which became a trench which eventually stretched about one hundred yards down the road. As you can imagine, the disruption to the traffic was not inconsiderable, with buses having to be very careful of hitting the barriers the workmen put up and on the road parking being practically halved.

And there was the problem.

The power cut was big enough but the teams of men there were doing everything they could and a temporary fix got the lights on after only a day without power. That left the parking problem. Inside the house, all sorted but outside, finding somewhere to park became a tougher prospect. Rather than on the road where you lived, now you could find yourself a few roads away. Not that it really added miles to the walk. Rather another hundred yards or so.

The rumblings of discontent began after a week.

“I wish they’d hurry up and get the road filled in.” “How long does it take to sort this out?”

Tuts and mumbled moans were just bubbling along all of the time, the previous gratitude forgotten. It took another couple of weeks but everything is back to normal now but the speed that the mood changed was surprising.

I watched the public as they lauded, then derided the job which was going on. The speed of the fix came about by the need to give materials the chance to harden, to make sure the fix was holding but so quickly, all anyone saw was “I’ve got to drive about looking for a parking space, I shouldn’t have to do that.” The feeling of ‘ME’ climbed to the top in a shockingly short period of time.

So why are we, as a species, now so fast to forget the good and replace it with suspicion and anger? Why do we hail a saviour only to turn on them in a heartbeat?

Are we impatient? Are we just unwilling to be put out for any longer than what we see as the barest minimum?

One of the toughest parts, I find, of writing is the motivations of the people within the story. It’s very simple to be happy with the ‘white hat’ / ‘black hat’ dichotomy but it’s never that simple really. We’re all more grey than at either of the poles on the colour spectrum but the more I watch humanity, it would appear that so many, so very many people, appear to be more at the darker end than around the centre.

I suppose it will mean that storytelling could be darker in the future as it mirrors the reality around it, but also means that the acts of kindness, the acts of shared humanity at the lightest part of our spectrum will just shine out even brighter.

Every cloud ………..


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