Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

On 8 June 2009, while in Fiji, I wrote

I spend a lot of time watching local wildlife of one form or another; landcrabs,  geckos, birds, the odd mongoose; and for a while I kept a few hermit crabs named Eric in an icecream container, until I released them.  From them I learned something important for me to keep in mind while I am here, in this job.  When one is in an ice cream container, one needs patience, and persistence.  Those crabs could not get out of the container, but they never for a moment stopped trying.  I think that may be lesson I should take on board, given my position and my situation.  The history I have been reviewing of the attempts around the Pacific to bring about some sustainable changes look a bit like wandering around in a container, going nowhere.  I have a feeling that for a while at least, I am going to feel a lot like those hermit crabs.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Surely there must come a time when you can stop trying?


Author: Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.

3 thoughts on “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

  1. Ah but we are sentient beings and can plan our escape, or at least one or two of us could climb on the backs of the others, if they stopped moving for a minuite, and get out. Thus it always was, a few benefit from the sacrifice of many. When they are out I expect the few will go and find a ladder and get the others out too. Of course they will, won’t they?


  2. I’ve long been worried by your insistence on trying to help people who resent being helped and hate those who try.
    Looking at your history since moving outback I see a pattern of attacks which suggest to me that this resentment is the root of your (external) troubles.
    Strangely enough, your attitude and that of three others I deal with make me realise that I am not as pessimistic as I thought.
    Because a true pessimist would stop trying.
    As one of those three constantly repeats, “It’s no use. You’ll never win”. And he has stopped trying.
    And tries to stop anyone else trying.
    And as of yet I still insist on treating people whose behaviour I despise with courtesy and respect in the hope that one day they will learn by example.
    Perhaps I learned some of this from you.
    Even though I do not believe that they will, my personal pride allows no less.
    I suspect that this is a re-statement of the christian principle of “Hate the sin and love the sinner.
    As a side bar may I state that that wonderful song “Don’t sleep in the subway” is spoiled for me by the line ” forget your foolish pride”. There is nothing foolish about pride in one’s own integrity.
    That is the essence of honour.
    If you can step back and stop clenching your jaw for a little you might see that the path you are on is not the only path.
    Good luck and good wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

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