Kev Johns column: Common bonds can help us all
YOU only have to watch one television news bulletin to realise that there are some very serious issues going on in the world at the moment.
Now, I'm no International Affairs expert but I don't need to be to know that there are serious acts of injustice being committed by humans against their fellow mankind, none of which can be justified by any theory of modern ethics.
I don't need to mention any specific countries or governments as everyone knows who they are and whatever the reaction of the international community the people of world know what they see is wrong!
Problems seem to arise when we major on the things that divide us rather than the thing the things that unite us and bring us together,
It would be a dull world if we were all the same but a sad one if difference in race, creed or culture only led to conflict and division.
When there is conflict we often hear leaders call for dialogue – in other words, for people to sit down and talk, so may I add my small voice to those who call for dialogue, I'd like to canvas your support for the art of conversation.
I moved my daughter to London last weekend!
Beth, born and brought up in Gorseinon is now a resident of Balham in the London Borough of Wandsworth.
SW12 is certainly a change from SA4 and London is very much an international community.
Now I'm a talker, having been brought up in the 'over the garden wall' communities of Plasmarl and The Hafod and I've tried to engage people in friendly conversation and banter wherever life has taken me.
It took me a while on Balham High Street to realise that people had no idea what I was talking about when I said "Thanks, bach", "sorry, butt" or "excuse me, cariad" but people do respond to friendly chat even when not used to it.
I went into a lift and as the doors closed a lady rushed in and I held the door open and she thanked me in an accent which was certainly not cockney. As we chatted I asked where she was from. Iran was the reply, I asked was she on holiday or did she live in London. She was on holiday, we had a lovely conversation! I've never met someone from Iran before!
On a roll, I asked a guy at an information desk where he was from. Spain, he replied! Ohhh , Spain! You can guess what I asked next: "Which team do you support?" It was Valencia! He asked my team. "Swansea City," I proudly replied! We talked about The Europa League and he knew we had a number of Spanish players and what's more he knew who they were and named them all.
Now, please don't think that I'm suggesting that one conversation about football can solve the world's problems, I'm not that naive, but it's a start and if we can find common bonds on local levels then maybe it will filter up the ladder and our leaders will get the message.
I love that John F Kennedy said, "One person can make a difference, and everyone should try."
Whilst in London I was asked to perform a Gospel Comedy Show at a church in Wimbledon.
I was a little nervous especially when I was told that there would be close on 30 nationalities in the church!
I was full of questions! Will they understand me, will they get the Welsh humour?
I will never forget the sight of 30 nationalities laughing together! Laughter is a very powerful weapon and I've discovered one thing in my limited travels and that's that people are people.
I told stories about Welsh mother and grandmothers and they understood and laughter because mothers and grandmothers are the same everywhere.
They all have the same hopes, dreams and ambitions and every one of world's children deserve an opportunity to make those hopes and dreams come to fruition!
THERE'S one local dispute that even a large UN Peace Keeping force might struggle to quell!Is it Cwtch or Cwtsh?
Currently we are being encouraged to Cwtch the Bid, in support of Swans Bay's hope of becoming the 2017 UK City of Culture.
I guess most people have only ever thought of spelling that precious Welsh word with a CH.
However, my old friend and Comic Phil Evans from Ammanford says, No!
Cwtch is the Welsh word for Cuddle, not just any type of cuddle however, a rather special one, blessed with the warmth and generosity of the Welsh, a truly free flowing expression of love and acceptance.
Remember that lovely warm feeling you used to get when a special person put their arms around you? Sheltering you from the world and its pressures, at least momentarily!
What a feeling.
Ah that's a Cwtch ..... or is it a Cwtsh?
Phil has sparked a huge debate on the use of the word!.
He says "It's a question as big as 'To be, or not to be? In Wales: should the favourite Welsh word for a hug be a 'Cwtsh' or a 'Cwtch?' – that is the question."
He's convinced the correct spelling of the word is 'Cwtsh' as the ch in well is harsh as in Bach!
It's going to be a stormy debate I think but whichever side of the argument you're on, always remember when you've finished the heated discussion always give your opponent a friendly Cwtch ..... or a Cwtsh!