You can learn a lot from a cat, I find. Not just their relatively innocent and irresponsible approach to life, commiting no time or energy to finding a job or wondering what to cook for tea, but their undying fascination with the world. The longer days and warmer weather provide ever more opportunities to explore sheep, birds, mice and endless creepy crawlies. Despite these being deemed unsuitable as sources of nutrition, their pursuit and capture occupies hours of each day. (Drowsy bees emerging from the lawn provide poor sport at present, but sooner or later one will surely prove a worthy opponent.)
For we humans, especially those of us in the first world with its sophisticated societies and work ethics such a mode of living is a very distant race memory. Ever more so at present during this period of austerity where every politician seems to have an opinion on what should be done (Invariably this seems to involve them bossing us all about a bit more) without actually wanting to get down to doing it as it is certain to prove unpopular and there is no greater caveat for a modern politician.
This reverie comes to me as I am developing an App for the iPad to cover whole life financial planning. This area is one of fascination to me, as it seems a large proportion of us go through life without any great regard for the future. Growing up when I did, the overwhelming impression from Nuclear power (Energy for free), the space race, Concorde and the Harrier jump-jet was that my generation would be living in the future, a shinier better place with cures for cancer and degenerative diseases and that our greatest problem would be filling our ever expanding leisure time. Of course there is more leisure time now but it is not spread evenly with some in work serving ever longer hours, and many others with little prospect of any work at all.
Attention seems increasingly to be paid to the problems of the present with the future expected to take care of itself, which it will, of course, but not necessarily to our advantage. It never ceases to surprise me how many people I meet who have much more clearly worked out plans for how they would spend a lottery win (Which almost certainly won’t happen to them) than for how they will live in retirement (Which hopefully will).
The App is suffering from a bit of mission creep at present as I add new complexity as it occurs to me, but is progressing nicely. Hopefully it will encourage others (As it has me), to rediscover a bit of curiosity about what could happen and what could be done now to useful effect, and that surely is a good thing.