I went to two meetings yesterday, in two parts of London, separated by only a short bus ride. The first meeting, in a well known part of London. Well known for many of the wrong reasons, but slowly being made a little bit more pretty. I met with a man who told me that he made a lot of mistakes in his life. A man who admitted to the wrong turns he took. He told me, frankly, with brutal honesty, who he was, what he did, and how he is working to make the world a slightly better place. And how he suffered and today still lives with the mistakes of his past. Sure, I have differing view from him, but I had a respect for him. A man who has lived through everything, has seen death and then walked back into the light. The words terrified me, for the truth was haunting. Those words however, I had to hear them, those haunting words, that terrifying story, the actual truth. Not for my ego, but for the future.
The second meeting was also in a well known part of London, but one that is a lot harder to get to. Lost in a maze of back streets and roughly hewed but buildings. A film set, yes, it has been, just like my first location, separated by a bus ride. Two places in London, so close to each other, but so far in every other respect. There was money in this second location. And power. But also a lot of deceit in the air. lot of bad things had happened there, cloaked in the respectability of cash and influence. It was here, in the echelons of high society, that my second meeting took place. It was a meeting that spooked the hell out of me. Not because I was scared on the person chairing it, far from it. Although I admired what he said, as a person, I could not be more repulsed. Everything he said was with a honey forked tongue. But I needed to hear those saccharine flavoured words, that terrifying story, the actual truth. Not for my ego, but for the future.
When you are young, the world is simple. Thoughts, flavours, the colours of life, are blatant yes, no, truth or lies. But as your life progresses, those shades of grey increase, the palette becomes more complex. And everything looses its focus. Suddenly, that simplicity of youth is complicated by the politics of adulthood. I really do think that your thirties has to be the most destructive decades that any human can live through. The things that people our age does is filled with cruelty and spite. And the weapons we have to deploy are vicious. We have left the creativity of our youth behind and are slowly destroying the lives of people around us. Although a few of us, try to reverse that destruction in our forties. Or some continue along that path. That was the difference between those two meetings. One, trying to make up for the mistakes of his thirties, one continuing and thriving from his destructive path.
Two meetings, separated by a short bus ride. I went to both, yesterday. Two very different emotions felt after both. But both meetings were necessary. Unfortunately…