Last in, First out

Last in, First out is, apparently an accounting term and is something to do with data but it is more commonly thought of as the last one in is the first to leave. It’s known in the work place as the most recent to arrive are the most likely to lose their job and such like.

I have been thinking about this since my trucking trip in February and what happens in group situations. Discussions came up around sibling groups and who was where in the pecking order (another not particularly complimentary turn of phrase unless you are at the head of the pecking order) and how, where we sat in the sibling order impacted on our behaviour in a group. It’s interesting, it’s not a new thing but it’s interesting all the same. I am the youngest in the family and there was a general feeling among the youngest siblings that we were ‘last in, first out,’ not as in first to leave home but in a different way. The feeling was that you arrive into an already formed family and that you are an add on, additional, expendable almost (very very general sweeping statement but this was the conversation) and that you have to carve out your place in some way.

As the last to arrive it is necessary to try and think up something that hasn’t been done before, either you are very quiet, or very noisy, or very clever, or very something. It’s not alright to just jog along in a mediocre way as there always lies the risk that you could be out, as you were the last in. You are not a necessary component of the already existing set up. This wasn’t a conversation about how woe is us but about behaviour and then translating this to the wider population i.e. the refugees that we had travelled across Europe to take stuff to. People who arrive in another country are rarely permitted to be just mediocre, they have to be very very at something or other. They have to gain a place rather than it being just awarded to them because they are. Last in, First out. Newly arrived people are judged on their merits, what they can offer and how they can add to a situation, generally economically.

And to bring this round to what is happening in this bat shit crazy world, it all seems to come down to economics. It feels as though the humanity in discussions seems to have left the scene. All talks of bombs landing are reducing deaths to statistics and how much a bomb costs and how that money could be spent elsewhere. Just don’t drop bombs I say but apparently that is too simplistic. Maybe it is. All talk of the Euro referendum has been reduced to finances and single markets and amounts written on the side of buses rather than the distress it is causing to many families because of the uncertainty that lies ahead. And now another election and there will be more statistics bandied around, finances and, within that, the real discussions of real people just get reduced to background noise. When people are not heard, they shout louder and louder until they are heard and sometimes have to change what they’re shouting about in order to get heard.

Of course money comes into stuff but not half as much as we are led to believe. There is plenty to go round, it just needs distributing a bit more evenly. You offer homes to people because it’s the right thing to do, it really is that simple. The prime minister spoke today that she thinks that the whole country is pulling together. I’m not sure when she last stepped outside her front door or whether someone is feeding her porkies cos that’s not what the rest of us are seeing. There will be much talk of the ‘common good’ over the next few weeks but without any conversation about the fact that there is increasingly no longer a common good. All talks are serving to divide people. It feels like pitchforks at dawn rather than pulling together. I do hope that something good comes out of all of this but feelings are running high and those feelings are generally ones of fear. Fear that we and our loved ones are next on the hit list. That we might be considered the last ones in, in some way, and the first ones out, in whatever cookie way is going to be thought up next.

Please remember to be kind. Kindness is massively underrated. Just because the government is behaving like a bunch of toddlers fighting over the last ice cream, doesn’t mean that we all have to follow suit. There are many people who are very worried about their safety, about their future and the future of their children. Please do not use them as bargaining chips. Please do not expect them to perform extraordinary feats, split the atom all over again, in order to awarded a place of safety. It is enough just to be human.

p.s the photo is of Tom dog staring out at a seal in the sea. It is of no significance whatsoever other than I like the photo and I am now not going to see Tom for a month and I miss him already!