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Rolic O Oboh

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Rolic O Oboh

Writing for pleasure
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Making sense of life
By Rolic O Oboh   
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Last edited: Thursday, June 04, 2009
Posted: Thursday, June 04, 2009

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I am not sure whether or not a person is born with any specific preoccupations or that they are learned as one grows older in life. I have been seeing a smattering of signs, such as "For Sale," or "To Let," as well as a few "Sold," and "Let By"; and it occurred to me that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't seem to make sense of all that was going on in the property market right now. A few weeks ago, there were some pronouncements by the trade group for mortgage lenders that sales of property in the UK was slightly improving. However, this pronouncement was almost immediately countered by some estate agents, saying that any such pronouncements of improvement was merely a form of wishful thinking. Wishing thinking or not, there is indication that some form of movement is occurring in the property market, though it may be a far cry from what it was only a few years back, then at the peak of the last boom. A house close to where we live, which in the boom years a few years ago would have fetched 200,000 pounds or more, was recently sold for 185,000 pounds.The situation in the property market brings to my mind the need to make sense of life in general and how it affects one in particular.

A former colleague once said that it didn't take long for most of our country men (referring to my native country in Africa), to turn sense into nonsense. The issues affecting the generality of humans on the planet today, unfortunately go beyond the idiosyncracies associated with any one country. However, it matters how individual countries and persons try to make sense of it all. First, there was the global financial crises, following on from a highly fluid sub-prime mortgage situation in the U.S. But then the election of Barack Obama as president seemed (at least to the oppressed and suffering majority in most countries) to blow in a wind of hope and some redemption that America could offer leadership out of the crises. But then not all countries or individuals look to America or the West for any manner of leadership. Also, there was the soaring unemployment and increasing failure in industries due to lack of consumer confidence. The problems appeared to tumble out, and made it difficult for most people to make sense of what was happening all around them. I for one have been trying to compare pronouncements of people who should know with the situations around me. I have seen at more shops becoming empty, and a few empty shops remaining vacant for months, while houses put up for sale remain for so long without being sold. I ask myself this question is it worth buying property speculatively now, assuming one had the money, in the hope of a rebound in the market, and what sort of rebound would it be the next time that would happen? I cannot, unfortunately, answer that question with any certainty. Making sense of life around me has become a very uncertain (some say 'dodgy') business.

In the political front, in the UK at least, the current prime minister and his party seems to have been worst hit by the recent MPs expenses scandal. Worse though, is that some of the cabinet are resigning before any action by the prime minister to reshuffle his cabinet. None of what is going on makes sense, except ofcourse in the remit of political crises, anything can happen.

In writing, however, it is imperative to make sense of what is written, say in fiction. Just as it is important to present the truth (reference is to symbolic truth). The world of finance, politics, and business with their high stakes, unfortunately, deals sometimes in senselessness and untruth.



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