On a recent business trip to Beijing, a Chinese girl who toured with us was asked by one of the delegates on why she had left her family in China a few years earlier and decided instead to make London her permanent home. She sat back in her chair, and contemplated the question for a moment. She must have been aged about 24 years or so, and for a moment I was genuinely surprised that she hadn’t encountered such a question in the past before.
Finally she responded, with a smile; “Because life is so much more easier and straightforward in England, and I have less hassles to deal with. ” She later added that one had more opportunities, it was safer and you didn’t have the need to look over your shoulder every now and then, not to mention that you could go where you liked, even at night and there was enough to do to keep you busy.
She couldn’t have nailed it more articulately.
Put aside the subject of free speech and speaking ones true conviction, freedom of religion, security and the liberty to walk into a museum that held material that exhibited [ unashamedly], the cruel nature of the regime barely a century ago, or the liberty to own such a museum. No, not those grand / morally upright facts. If you look closely, what you will find is that Britain is one hell of a better place to live compared to other Countries. I could list a hundred reasons why I wouldn’t live anywhere else. Of course, its not idyllic [no place is] and one could also easily list 10 reasons why they would hate living in England, Scotland or Wales, and for me, the weather, overcrowding & queuing; disparaging attitudes towards ethnic minorities; the BNP; and Simon Cowell being closer to the top of that list.
But think about it, in Britain:
1. We are less likely to be flooded, and if floods do occur, they affect relatively smaller areas of land. Massive disclaimer here, I would have written this even if the Aussie floods hadn’t occurred and this should not be interpreted as a slag at our Australian cousins, who I’m sure will overcome this latest episode of floods to strike the country.
2. We are less likely to be shot, poisoned or stabbed around here. Ok there is the dirty work in tragedies like the Litvenenko case, or the Brazilian young man Jean Charles de Menezes, who was mistaken for a terrorist and shot by the police on the Underground, and other such tragic incidents, but generally, if you are not at the wrong place at the wrong time, behave becoming, and watch your step[and who your friends are], the probabilities of crossing paths with a bullet and suchlike are somewhat slim. Contrast this with certain places in Mexico, US and Pakistan. To get a better idea, try and look up some firearm incident terms in regional Google search, and compare the results country by country.
3. You are less likely to be gravely affected by a Volcano, Typhoon or a Tornado. Its not only that, the list is rather long and includes heavy snow, snow storms, Forrest fires and Earthquakes, but to keep it short lets just say gone are the days when the population was constantly being kept in check by plagues and / or events known as acts of God.
4. You are less likely to be stoned or killed by some religious zealot in retaliation to something you said. It doesn’t matter what it is you spoke against [ in fact some times you don’t even have to say anything], these people are found everywhere from Nigeria and Israel to Colombia and Pakistan, people who think they can take life at will just because somehow, they think that you have insulted their God in some way. What surprises me is why these so called proselytes will not just let God do His own work himself. Go find a job will you, God really doesn’t need your help. If you are that bored, become a farmer, a cleaner or fisherman or learn a new skill like studying to be an IT technician, carpentry or plumbing. And if you have some money to spare, you could even invest in something, I don’t know what, gold perhaps, shares, William Hill, or maybe a novel business model such as renewable energy which you can use for charitable works like powering your entire village, selling to your government or the Chinese, etc.
Stop killing in the name of God.
By condemning people to death, all you are is a blood thirsty murderer.
Where were you when God performed all the miracles listed in the holy texts? He didn’t ask for your help.
5. You are less likely to be attacked by a dangerous wild animal in Britain. Because, there are none.
6. Food prices are somewhat reasonable. I know we can argue this point till our hairs turn grey, but food in Britain can be affordable if you know where to look (and are willing to be adventurous with it). I used to buy Salmon for 77p, smoothies for £1 a bottle and Naan bread for 65p, baby lettuce for 75p, German wine for £2.79. Chuck in some onions, tomatoes, garlic, peppers and mayonnaise and you have infact a very good dinner for less than a tenner [assuming you had onions tomatoes and garlic, peppers in your home from a previous shopping].
7. People appear to be grateful, or at least pretend to be so, which can go some way to keeping one’s sanity. Thank you kindly please if you don’t mind if its not too much of a bother i pray ye i beg your pardon. Huh, you “beg” my pardon?
8. We have a functional democracy [sort of] and generally, we try and elect reasonable Politicians who although some turn out to be complete idiots who muck up everything they touch, most appear to be acting in the interests of the public and eventually leave office once voted off, or if they say/ do something monumentally stupid. Contrast this with countries such as Russia, Zimbabwe [and others in not only continental Africa, but also seemingly peaceful place such as Madagascar.]and even Italy. Politicians usually take the heat, won’t molest children or rape their secretaries and you won’t find them having a grudge against a journalist or member of the public to the point they are willing to sacrifice the poor sod to anger, using violent means. [ahem, lets leave Prescott aside, shall we, please].
9. Nobody will try and fight with you, kill you or generally be unpleasant over petroleum, precious stones or private property. [If they do it, then we don’t usually see it.] Further, you can study and work your way to the top [in certain careers :-0 ], or even start your own business, and if you play your cards right, you could live a worry free comfortable life, with little chance of a sect of the population colluding to mug/ kill you, and take spoils for themselves. Further, nobody will try and kill you because they are afraid that you know something about their involvement in the murder of your father, or because a relative of yours did something, or said something against them…
10. You are less likely to die of disease. Its not just the malarias, choleras or typhoid fevers. Its cardiovascular illnesses, infectious parasitic diseases, lung and stomach diseases, cancers & brain diseases, its AIDS.
I think we ought to be grateful.