Be patient with me. Everything I have written so far is leading up to what everyone wants to know about human relationships. Mother and son, mother and daughter, father and son, father and daughter all the way through all the different relationships up to the last two which are the most important: husband and wife (or call it long term partners if you like) and the relationship with ourselves.
The starting point is that men and women are complementary to each other. To say that they are equal, is a misuse of the word.
Equal payments for doing the same kind of work? Yes equal. Women and men are different in their physical construction, and therefore there are some jobs that men can do better than women and some can be done better by women. These are the main differences but there many more. As the man in the French parliament said, “Vive la Difference!” If I could be a man for one day I am sure I would learn more about what it is to be a man than a lifetime’s observation. Two phrases we hear repeatedly are “I wish I could understand women” and “I wish I could understand men.” Ask any mother who has had babies of both sexes, myself included. It’s the difference that makes us interesting and, of course, the
something that cannot be done by one person. Despite the development of science, it still takes a sperm to fertilize an egg.
Back to good and bad. I’ve decided to keep these words because they are laden with emotions. After all we are not robots. First and foremost, we all have different ideas about what is good and what is evil. I am not in favour of organised religions because they, more than any other groups cause dissents about the meaning of the words that end up in wars, torture and many other evil things. My friend Jerry Planus, who is now dead after living into his late eighties, bless him, was brought up by nuns in an orphanage. He was an excellent writer and honoured me by sending me details of his early life “Cos you are an intelligent woman” by which he meant the nuns were most certainly not. I would love to publish it because it is very enlightening and fascinating. But I cannot, because it is his and I do not know if there is anyone in his very small family still alive. What he learned from his early experiences was to be an atheist and that he must trust himself and no-one else in his life decisions.
I know several stories about Jerry, but here is the one I like best. When he was fifteen years old he was sent to train to be a soldier. Despite the disgusting way he was treated by the nuns he enjoyed the new life he made for himself. When he had completed his time in the army he first cured himself of a long-standing stutter so that he would be able to be a travelling salesman and then to be a dealer in antique clocks.
He was in the army when he went to France with the infantry; part of the freeing of Europe in the Second World War. He was a big strong man and didn’t understand the meaning of fear. He got rid of that in his own way from his early experiences.
After some time had passed and he was getting tired of the slow movement forward in France and all the things he had to put up with, he found himself one day separated from his mates. Shells were dropping all the time. He looked for a safe spot to hide in. He soon came across a big crater caused by a shell. He ran and threw himself into the bottom and breathed a sight of relief.
There, shrivelled up in a corner, he spotted a very small man. His whole body was shaking with fear. He could hardly speak. Jerry stared at him, looked down at his own body and found he was quite still and relaxed. A strong feeling of anger burst out of him and he tried to learn to shake with fear himself but he found it was quite impossible.
He then turned his rage on this poor little soldier. He lifted him off his feet and shook him as hard as he could. “You blighter!! Stop shaking!” This had no effect on the little man. Jerry threw him to the ground and said “I wish I could shake like you but I can’t however hard I try. You are so lucky because you will soon be home again, but I’ve got to put up with all this to the end.” What a remarkable man!