My song today is, “I’ll Share My World with You’. This is a song by American country singer George Jones. It was written by Ben Wilson and reached the Number 2 spot when it was released by Jones in 1969. It also reached Number 126 on the U.S. pop chart, his first appearance there since 1964. Its title and sentiments are like Jones's 1967 Number 1 song " Walk Through This World with Me’. The song composer, Ben Wilson was an elderly man who lived in Miami and had made his way through life making souvenirs from seashells before turning to professional songwriting at age fifty-four. George Jones performed "I'll Share My World with You" live throughout his career, usually as part of a medley of older hits.
There is no greater experience of sharing one’s world with another than being in a ‘love bond’ with them, whether it is husband and wife, father and child, mother and child, or sibling and sibling. We all know this to be true when we lose one of these ‘love bond’ relationships because of death. It is only when we are part of a bereaved coupling that we truly experience the extent of the loss in our lives. A large aching hole appears in us which creates a well of despondency from which many of us risk drawing from too often, and which we expel in our tear ducts of sad and happy reflections.
Sharing used to be an integral part of good manners and appropriate modelling that all good parents would ensure was incorporated into their children’s values and behaviour and response pattern before they started First School back in the 1940s. Having been baptised and reared a Catholic by Christian parents, the Catholic school I attended naturally reinforced those views in everything they taught us. Indeed, I have known of many a non-Catholic parent who would prefer to send their child to a Catholic school because of the values which children were conditioned to reproduce in their daily behaviour.
I also recall the significant change in societal behaviour around the time I became Probation Officer in 1970. This was a time when year-upon-year, people in positions of relative power seemed more prepared to assert their position to acquire whatever change they desired in a more confrontative and aggressive manner. As England advanced over the next thirty years, society became more confrontational in its individual and collective response. Whereas at one time all protest would have been peacefully pursued, as the 70s turned into the 80s, and the 80s into the 90s, the ‘Flower Power’ days of my twenties had changed into the ‘Me Power Brigade’.
I recall mass protests of workers against employers: rubbish left uncollected for months on end, grave diggers refusing to bury the dead until they received a 25 per cent pay rise: three-day week rationing for electricity during the miner’s strike and lit candles the other four days: mothers and women marching against the bomb and spending years living in tents as they protested on-site Greenham Common: mass public demonstrations against government poll taxes: rioting in the streets of Brixton: Toxteth riots in Liverpool, setting fire to buildings: constant conflict between public protesters and police: the overuse of the SUS laws with black citizens: the massive increase in the casual use of knives, and the gang culture killings in our inner cities: the 1990s culminating in racial rioting in the north of England. And just to keep everyone on their toes, the Yorkshire Ripper was still killing women as they walked home at night!
Today merely witnesses a worsening time as the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters have indicated to the watching world while USA police officers are so reckless and criminal in their behaviour that too many black people being apprehended finish up dead!
Whichever direction I looked, I no longer witnessed disputes which were once resolved by non-aggressive means. Whether citizens on the street or our MPs in parliament, all courtesy has gone out of the window, and only those individuals and groups who were prepared to shout the loudest and press their cause the more vociferously are heard! The society, which had in my youth saw sharing as being part of one’s duty had gradually transformed into the selfish mob of ‘Me! Me’ individuals, out to look after ‘Jack’ and be damned the rest of us.
If you ask me, it is time we got back to the custom of sharing and re-learning the Christian and neighbourly virtue of looking out for each other.
Love and peace Bill xxx