Category Archives: Andrew Little

Ghosts of the past

The past is the past.

One of the challenges many people have to face in their lives is to move on past negative experiences they have had in their life.  I will use me now instead of they, I hope that in this post people may recognise or identify with the things I put onto this page.

I have had some negative experiences in the past some really distant and some not so distant, these have left various impacts on me. Some have seared their way into my mind and have showed this by invoking a set pattern of response when I encounter these things. Some words can do it for me, whatever is one of them I could explain to you how I feel or what I think when the word is said, but why, enough to say that it does, so how does one get past the word whatever? Backtracking a little I think a small explanation of whatever is necessary to illustrate the reaction. The urban dictionary defines whatever as being used in an argument to admit that you are wrong without admitting it so the argument is over. Merriam Webster says anything or everything, no matter what, or can be used to express surprise or disbelief, it can also mean no matter what.  This is not an exhaustive definition of the word, it does go to show that there are a variety of meanings and some of those have positive connotations, some didactic and some decidedly negative in tone.

Whatever for me is associated with a throwaway remark that denotes either a derisive attitude or a dismissive go away, why you may ask? Well the past, in the past that is my experience and it brings an almost conditioned classical Pavlovian response, that of defence, not hackles raised and growling but a shrinking of my soul and a fight or flight response, rapidly followed by a, what did I do, internal referencing, soul-searching, navel gazing, waste of time. Why a waste of time? Well simple really, because most of the time I actually don’t have a reference to put the word into, no locus.  So the reaction that I have is just the ghosts of the past beating their drums inside my head.  Well it’s not like that for me I hear. Well that’s good for you but here it is for me.

This reaction produces nothing worth having the question is how to get past that response so here are a few ideas,

  1. When you say whatever, can you be a bit more precise, I need some clarification.
  2. Did I say something wrong?
  3. Is something the matter?
  4. I need a bit more direction.

You get the general picture, it can be a loaded word but my response is already loaded, I am packing buck shot, finger on the trigger ready to shoot, (ok hyperbole but I am a poet).  The thing is the word most likely comes up in a conversation with someone significant in your life, it certainly does for me.  I could ask the person not to use the word but it is me who has the issue.  There are words that are more than words, derisive, nasty put-downs.  Whatever is unlikely to be one of those and my partner certainly does not use those words towards me, so why am I charged.   As I said it is past ghosts.

Some ghosts have to be exorcised from our lives, the memory is too painful, embarrassing, traumatic even.  I have a good memory, far to good in fact and I have carried a lot of hurts with me over many years.  I am aware of these and reflective enough to know when I am being triggered albeit sometimes not in time to prevent an instant response but enough to know when I need to reflect and move some things along.

My mother’s advice about saying nothing if you have nothing good to say is sage and has been given universally, some people mistake that as a weakness, ah there I have you now, nothing to say I must be right, the temptation is to rise to that but it is again not worth the effort, people like that are generally insecure and have a deep need to be right, I know, I used to be one.  I will leave this here for now bar the disclaimer that I am not perfect and still get caught in this behaviour, but less and less these days, try to think before you engage in a disagreement, try to decide is this worth having conflict over, I learnt as a child that I couldn’t be beaten into submission physically, and any verbal beatings to induce agreement are shallow, hollow victories that are just pale and worthless.

Love well and laugh loud, if you can’t sit on your tongue to stop yourself from talking then just breather through your nose

Paul

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A repost of a riposte

Tonight for you,

without further adieu

I bring to you

a poem

Verse is hard

So it’s said

the like

has not been read

ever before

in Hansard.

Tonight’s poem is from a man who is a poet but till now he didn’t know it.  I was going to write of budgets and housing but tonight this will do.

This is the poem Andrew Little read in Parliament, quite funny I thought!

Twas the night before the Budget
When all through the House.
The National Back Benches were keen for a stoush
The promises were hung during the election with care
Of course they would fill them
How could they not
They wouldn’t dare.
September 14 was a different time
The Back Benchers quite happy, some in their prime.
Nested all snug in their leather armchairs
John, Bill and Steven washed away all their fears
There had been promises of surpluses, of poverty relieved
Of great fiscal wonders, or so they believed.
“They’ve got us this fat, the Back Benchers said”
“What could possibly go wrong?”
“We’re so far ahead!”
But Bill English knew, he just hid his fear
That all their good words were just plain hot air
It was great that Mike Hosking and Paul Henry were glowing
But nothing could mask an economy slowing.
“We have to do something, we have to be quick”
Said John Key to his Cabinet that had run out of tricks.
“Now Bennett, now Adams, Now Bridges and Tolley
Forget Steven Joyce and his conventional folly.
Where’s Woodhouse, McCully, Crosbey and Textor
If there’s one thing clear – you all have to do better.
I need plans to help Auckland, to slow housing prices
To help feed the kids, and fix other vices.
Where is the plan for trains, trucks and bikes.
My Facebook page tanking, I can’t get no likes.”
“And I’m sick of seeing Andy, the new man about town
He never gets angry, we can’t bring him down”.
Bill English stepped forwarded in canonical mood;
“Just stop there John, I don’t mean to be rude
You may not have noticed, but we have a crisis
And it’s nothing to do with our troops fighting ISIS
Exports are diving, dairy is down
There isn’t much happening in any small town
I know I have said the problem’s inflation.
But there’s something much bigger – John Bank’s compensation.
You said don’t touch taxes, levies and fees
But how will we pay for this – it don’t grow on trees.”
And then the talk came to a stop with a shudder
The Prime Minister knew -his heart now aflutter
Up from the back came a great throaty roar
Judith Collins appeared on Parliament’s floor.
“I’ve heard all of your talk, me and Todd Muller
All you’re known as now is ponytail puller”
“Out of the way – shove this in your gob
I’m here to take over, it’s my turn in your job.”