What does civilisation look like?

Human civilisation is the opposite of human brutalisation

And here’s the difference: brutalisation is black and white while civilisation is nuanced

Brutalisation is where rainbows (and small boats) are declared black and white

While civilisation is many-toned, where the seven colours of the rainbow are just the start of the story

It is the climate of nuance

And so we don’t applaud leaders, we don’t chant their names


We can vote for them, work for them, admire them even; but we won’t wave banners, as if somehow they and their clunky programme are the answer

It never ends well…and we might make tyrants of them; they might begin to believe in their black and white, stupid-as-mince cause

Applause encourages foolish simplification and encourages tyrants, who hate nuance with a passion

And why?

Because nuance dismantles their labels in a world in which we discover

The violent librarian

The honest thief

The bigoted freedom fighter

The greedy Trades Unionist

The depressed clown

The selfish nurse

The compassionate Tory

Or the jealous bishop

This being human is a speckled affair, and civilisation is built on the truer way of nuance

Built on the truth there are no good and bad people or nations, only the speckled

All mess and magic

The controlling charity worker

The enlightened accountant

The lazy victim

The gentle fundamentalist

The hateful mother

The kind paedophile

Oh… and, lest we forget, the Good Samaritan.

Leave a Reply