John Cronin

Groundhog Day

The news in the TOI today (18/06/2012) was mostly negative, indicating that a worsening of the general situation may have taken place and that, more than likely, grimmer headlines can be expected in the days ahead.

Death seems to have figured prominently as usual, much of it occurring with all the sudden violence that only Man can make. Even Mr. Abbas was quoted as saying that the peace process itself was ‘clinically dead’.

It has about it a depressingly familiar ring, as though the same sequence of events is being played out over and over again, the purpose of which remains hidden and the results always inconclusive.

It’s not unlike the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ where the main character finds himself locked in a repeating time loop, being forced to relive the same 24 hours day after day.

But, instead of being able to improve on the situation and thereby obtain some final release from it, no real changes ever happen in the Israeli-Palestinian story line nor has any subtle reason for its constant repetition made itself known, The cycle continues and the questions remain:

How can it be stopped? When can it be stopped? Can it ever be stopped?

In the film, you might recall that our hero, Bill Murray, for it was indeed he, eventually learns to adapt to his strange new environment. In fact, so successfully does he do so that, when at last he emerges from its grip, he has become a wiser and a better man. He also gets the girl as an additional bonus.

It may be that therein lies the true answer; that Israelis, Palestinians and the rest of us need only take advantage of the circumstances in which we find ourselves and not constantly chafe at our inability to see and move beyond their complexity. It seems we must make certain improvements in ourselves before we can ever hope to challenge whatever fate has in store for us.

Do it this way and you may still not get the girl. But what you do get could  be very much the next best thing.

About the Author
Engineer, Virgo - now retired having worked 30 years in the field of medical diagnostic imaging for a major German multinational. Based in UK .