London’s Burning.

It is quite odd to see the city I’ve grown up in turn upside down in the space of seventy two hours. I’ll skip the reasoned arguments and flippant comments for the time being.

This morning I went for a run in Victoria Park. It was a fine morning, and slightly at odds with the sirens of the night before and the grainy youtube videos on repeat. While I was running, I passed a kid who had to be maybe twelve or thirteen running the other way. That got me thinking. That kid had to have a goal, or something in his life that he was working towards, because it is the middle of the summer holidays, and it was 7.30am, and that kid was out there running around Victoria Park with all the adults. All the adults, we’ve got goals, sure, personal fitness, weight loss, yadda yadda yadda. We’ve had twenty, thirty, fifty years to figure out why we’re running around a park at 7.30am. And then there’s a kid, yes, a kid, who’s got something in his head that has him out of bed and running around on his own like the rest of us. When I was his age, I didn’t have that, it took me twenty five years to find a reason to get out of bed early in the morning and run (though I’m now twenty eight).

I look at all the footage on television, and I hear the police sirens tearing past below me and the one thing I can really be certain about is that kid. I don’t know the kid. I don’t know what is stuck in his head, or what goal he has that means he’s up with the fat-burners, the yuppies, the Men’s Health fanatics and me. I don’t know whether he’s rich, or poor, whether he goes to a good school, or a bad school. I am pretty much clueless about that kid. All the same, I’d bet a lot of money on that kid achieving more in his life than the looters currently burning my city.

In the midst of all the banter, updates and all that live-streaming opinion, a friend of mine posted this video which struck the same chord as the kid:

I’ll leave the interpretation of the above for another day.