Beyond the banter: “We’re all Doomed!”




Have you seen the popular sit-com Dad’s Army? It’s based on the activities of the Home Guard during the Second World War. I readily identify, either in my own life or in what I’ve observed in others, with the strengths, weaknesses and tendencies in many of the characters. As with most sit-coms there’s an element of truth in the ridiculous scenarios which are painted. I love the variety of personalities portrayed, and the almost impossible task that Captain Mainwaring had of shaping that disparate bunch of volunteers into an effective platoon.

It’s my namesake, Fraser, who dramatically delivers the wide-eyed catch phrase “We’re all doomed”. The circumstances of life can come against us and immobilise us. Strong and bitter winds can blow us off course, producing a feeling of lostness. Storms can arise and shipwreck our hopes and dreams, leaving us with a sense of failure and confusion, wondering where we go from here.

In order to distract from all this, some men take refuge in pursuits which are not helpful, playing computer games late into the night, flirting with addictive web sites, drowning sorrows with a few too many beers or finding a sense of relief in drugs. At best all these escapes can offer is temporary respite from life’s pressures. At worst, they increase the likelihood of relationship breakdown, deeper entrapment and yet more feelings of failure to deal with. Men are notorious for not wanting to face up to the reality of what they have become. They would rather run away into the bushes to hide or wear some kind of fig leaf to cover things up.

Life is not a precise science. It is not something we can easily control. There’s a strong likelihood that unforeseen things will crop up. As I write this, some are still recovering from the effects of the Covid pandemic, longing for a time when things get back to some sort of normal. But what if it doesn’t? What then?

I heard on the radio that former star of Tottenham Hotspur, Garry Mabutt, made over one thousand telephone calls to club supporters during the pandemic. It inspired me to make more effort to ring friends and keep connections alive. The alternative is to just hunker down and drift along, unwittingly opting to live my life with a high degree of unfulfilment and disappointment. Do I want to leave the planet regretting my lack of connection, my failures and under-achievements, or would it be better to leave a legacy in the lives of others? If I opt for the former, then maybe Fraser was right, and we are all doomed.

Bob Fraser

Bob Fraser is a singer-songwriter, men’s group leader and Regional Director for CVM aiming to open up conversations about life and faith.

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