Wednesday, 25 May 2011

We have Cancer to thank, Marks puts thoughts to paper....

Well, after seeing some of the reports on the news recently about people
claiming back the money from mis-sold Payment Protection I can't help but
wonder what state the country will be in once this has all kicked off
properly. At very least this could possibly signal the end of free banking
for individuals?

Lets face it, we are talking about huge amounts of money after what has been
a very tough few years for our banks. It's a tough one and a bit of a
dilemma. Neither the banks or government have the money to pay out on these
claims. I know it sounds dramatic but I really do think we're heading for a
bit of a meltdown and, I am sorry to say I have to take some responsibility
too for selling the stuff and also for getting involved in flogging the
concept of claiming it back. Yep, I used to work for a loan brokerage and
sold Payment Protection, the principle of it is actually good, what's not so
good is when people were told, or it was implied, their loan was conditional
on taking the PPI. I never did it but I am sure it went on. As for
claiming it back I worked for a PPI reclaim company a few years ago after
leaving a loan brokerage. It was great to be on the "goodies" side,
battling against the evil loan companies etc. Since leaving that field of
work and commencing work with a charity, and since my partner was diagnosed
with Cancer I have done a lot of thinking and now look at life in a very
different way.

Get me getting all soft in my old age but, I realise now that we have got to
this state by nurturing greed and envy and always wanting more, always
looking what someone else has better than us as opposed to seeing all the
good things we have already and seeing the value in the things we have
already. As a society we seem to subscribe to the more is more school of
thought, more money equals more happiness etc but in reality we know money
doesn't buy happiness. More value seems to be placed on having the fastest
car the most expensive clothes or access to the most exclusive clubs but in
reality are they 'that' important? If you were told you could win the euro
millions this weekend but in order to do so you would need to give up your
partner, your family and your friends would you do it? I doubt you would.

Many may feel that the ideal scenario is to have both but does money
'really' buy happiness, surely it just brings with it a whole heap of
different problems. This is a subject which has been debated for many years
and I am sure will continue to be debated for many to come. There is no
right and wrong answer and, if money and material possessions please someone
and gives them pleasure then who is anyone else to criticise that and if an
individual feels fulfilled by opting out of the social norms of a demanding
and greedy society then again, should that be criticised?

This is where I speak from experience, I used to be that person subscribing
to the social norms, wanting the best suits, the nicest car and other
luxuries I felt were essential in my life. Since facing the prospect of
losing my partner I have realised what really is important to me. Material
possessions are not important any more but my happiness and the happiness of
my partner is important. Yes, we still get pleasure from treating ourselves
to something we want, this week it has been wellies but we also get pleasure
from spending time in each others company, working together, spending time
with family with friends and enjoying the silent satisfaction you get from
just being with that special someone.

It's funny how cancer can change your life and cancer, as well as taking
life can give life. It has given us a new life, a more appreciative and
considerate life, we don't know how long we will get to spend with it but
what we do know is that we are here, living life, breathing life and
enjoying life not chasing some far off goal of untold riches and happiness
beyond belief. We have all that now, the richness and happiness that our
family and friends bring to us would have remained invisible had cancer not
shown us what was already around us.

This seems an odd thought for a Wednesday afternoon, a thought which took me
from the thought of losing free banking to inward reflection but the whole
journey has been interesting, I am learning more each day about myself,
about my family and about my friends. The things I'm learning are helping
me shape my future, to shape our future, cutting people or things out of our
lives that make it uncomfortable and unhappy and filling it full of those
which give us that happy feeling, that warm glow from fingers to toes, like
a soft and fluffy blanket, the knowledge that I do not need to look for
happiness and I do not need to ask for happiness because I have it and I
have Cancer to thank for teaching me that lesson.

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