Most men shudder at the idea of impotence. A recent brush with it was a visit to my GP asking her to check my PSA reading, a potential measure of issues with the prostate. I was then subjected to a further internal examination, and I did my best to hide my embarrassment. I’m thankful that all the diagnostics are ok and that the immediacy of potential impotence has receded for a while.
But I have no defence against the other sense of impotence in my life. I watch the terrors of Syria and Iraq on multiple media as I engage from the safety and comfort of my home in Ireland. I ask myself ‘what can I do’?, feeling helpless and not sure what I can do. I had an idea recently after seeing the demise of Aleppo that I might stand outside the Russian embassy in Dublin and register a quiet protest against the death of the innocent. But I failed that test too….
The problem with social media these days is both the availability and immediacy of images that we might otherwise prefer not to see at some level in our consciousness. I watch, I read, but is it really enough just to know but not be willing to do anything else but be able to talk knowledgeably?
And I remember to my shame chastising my father as a youngster for not being more of an activist on matters that were of importance to him. He protested that he had a wife and family to support etc – but I knew better.
I am taking a life view at this point that the life that I am leading is the best I can do as an active agent. Or, maybe, this is only a defence against the actuality of impotence?
(Solidarity with the oppressed peoples of Syria and Iraq.)