Things Are ?

Things Are ?


There is a lengthy quote often used by fans of the late writer Sir Terry Pratchett. It involves a conversation with the witch, Granny Weatherwax. It’s about evil and where it stems from. I have included a short copy as an image, and the quote is from Carpe Jugulum, first published in 1998.


Granny Weatherwax said that it all begins with treating people as things. Perhaps, rightly, this is very true. Yet the concept that people were and aren’t things, began before the writings of Terry Pratchett.


Let me introduce my former work colleague Tommy Darwin. I last worked with Tommy in 1983. He used to joke that he was the ‘missing link’. Sadly, Tommy is no longer with the world in flesh form.


Tommy used to tell me to walk tall, and be proud of who I am. Hold your head up, he used to say. Walk proud, walk strong. He used a depth of vocabulary, and once remarked that his kids told him they never really understood him. So much for big words.


Yet Tommy left me with something very important. One day he demonstrated. He walked over to a dining suite and pointed. He said, ‘this is a chair. That is a table’. At me, he pointed and said ‘ you are a person. You are not a thing.


Tommy went on to say that much of the problem lay with how we introduce one another. It’s not ‘ this is Bill, or here is Sally’.  It should be ‘ I’d like you to meet Bill, or I’d like you to meet Sally’.


It’s a small change in our perception, yet it signals a completely different mental state. People are not things. Definitely not like a table, a chair, or a door. We are alive, human, and deserving of a better introduction.


GNU Tommy. Thank you for the life lessons.


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