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The fall of ‘quality’, the rise of a Quality

Perhaps you’ve noticed, like I have, that ‘quality’ as a sense is disappearing all around us. To help understand what in many instances I feel is missing, ‘quality’ as defined by The Oxford Dictionary is:

  • the degree of excellence of something

  • a distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something

The loss of quality I’m pointing to is the diminishment of excellence or distinctiveness, but this is just a starting point. For me, quality is also a feeling that something is being done or made with care and presence – a fine attention to all the details, lovingly so.

A few everyday examples of the eradication of ‘quality’:

  • Cheap, fast-fashion purchases that become shapeless or start to fall apart after a few weeks – that have made billionaires out of their purveyors while keeping the actual clothes makers impoverished – along with the rest of us who watch the rapid decline of the garment as it heads towards being landfill. Polyester and other synthetics can then take between 20-200 years to fully decompose. Frightening to think that nearly all those high-waisted, pale-blue, flared pants from the 1970s are still with us, just buried out of sight. The enjoyment of something well made, that is designed to last through the years, is denied and indeed is literally priced out of existence.

  • Shallowness, sensationalism, and the blurring of commercial boundaries mean that a lot of what now passes for journalism reads like advertorials or marketing brochures you would bin direct from your letterbox. In print, on the net, on television – infomercials, a marriage of information and commerce – is clearly a union made far from heaven. In the world of print journalism, replete with the corpses of once fine publications, there are only a handful of notable survivors who, as a response to the rise of ‘fake news’ and the carnage wrought by the Internet, have taken to exhorting in front-page bold text:

Real Journalism. Like nowhere else.

And . . .

Democracy Dies in Darkness.

All in an attempt to remind a texting public that an in-depth, verifiable report or investigation is a direct way to expose the kind of ‘fake news’ that social media is so expert at spreading. Meanwhile the parent company of two of the most notable Australian newspapers just cut their journalist pools by twenty-five percent. In the face of an inevitable further decline in standards the remaining staff took to the streets in protest. Independent. Always.

  • A critically-ill political process – where members of any party in any country play to their base and are so ‘on message’ that they say nothing of note – intentionally so – leaving any semblance of leadership poisoned by the likes of dog-whistling, xenophobia, bigotry and lobbying. Where are the statesmen when as soon as high office is left behind the six-figure speaking fees and hosted holidays on private islands start to roll in? The high-minded leaders of the not-so-distant past would be rolling in their graves, not cash.

  • There is so much more to cite eg. the homogenisation of food, where the pink hue of farmed salmon is determined by the amount of dye added to the feedstock – ordered up by the ‘manufacturer’ according to a colour card, like choosing paint. “Think I’ll have dark pink #7 tonight Stella”.

All this is so visible and made even more so for me by the rise of ‘a Quality’.
What do I mean by this?

First of all there is the fact that examples like those cited above exist and are everywhere; we are all aware of them if we care to look. Greater than this however, is an ever-present contrast – as in things being cast into starker relief by the pure opposite.

The opposite is what I have been referring to – ‘a Quality’. It is necessary to move away from definitions to say what this is. Very simply, it is how my body truly feels if I listen deeply and respond to what it requires. Because the body knows.

A finer way to express this is: inside my body is a Quality that is so attuned, so deeply loving, so respectful of all life, so gracious, so untouched that its pure reflection cannot but highlight that which is not this.

In this love, that which is not love, that which does not account for and serve the whole, is felt for what it is. Namely: separation, cheapness, lack of fulfilment, emptiness, manipulation, greed, contraction. Many of these words can be assigned to our experience of fast food, disposable fashion sold by a ‘trained’ salesperson who tells you how great you look in anything and everything you try on, or a text that subsumes love into a smiling yellow circle with tiny red hearts for eyes.

But only if we are willing to truly feel.

So ‘a Quality’ is there and it is a touchstone like no other. But can we feel it if we are caffeine soaked to the eyeballs or a stressed journalist working for a paper losing money or a young mother trying to fit the pictures of modern ‘have-it-all’ motherhood with a baby who isn’t buying it?

Yes we can – to coin a phrase. But for me, first I had to make a stop and let it in that how I was living wasn’t working. Often this takes an illness; in my case it was a dawning, awful realisation that the love I knew existed within was often out of reach and worse that I was somehow resigned to this. Next it became clearer that the erratic nature of my connection to this love, a love that we all are, was due to how I was treating my body. Why I was treating my body that way is another story.

This understanding was immeasurably aided by the work of Universal Medicine and in particular, Serge Benhayon who is the most consistently loving being I have ever encountered. Such consistency can only come from a sustained connection to love.

So this is a testimonial written in reverse. You only have to meet Serge, meet his family, get a sense of what is being brought by all of them, to reconnect to what this Quality truly is. In their being, in their doing. There is nothing hagiographic in what I am saying, just the fact – which never needs a capital ‘Q’ to qualify it.

To acknowledge that Serge Benhayon has mastered being in his body and the connection that brings – and now spends his life communicating this understanding to all, is to simply state what is. Such love allows no other possibility, considers no other way. And always this is available for all of us to live – since a bedrock quality of this Quality is equality.

Filed under

Role modelsConscious presenceBody awarenessReductionismJournalism

  • Thumb small alan johnston

    By Alan Johnston, Photographer

    I have studied Social Documentary Photography. Lots of life experience throughout which I have kept a keen sense of humour.

  • Thumb small alan johnston

    Photography: Alan Johnston, Photographer

    I have studied Social Documentary Photography. Lots of life experience throughout which I have kept a keen sense of humour.