What keeps you up at night?

Benjamin P. Taylor
2 min readApr 23, 2024

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For me… *suffering* — mostly that which isn’t directly mine — wondering whether I’m making the right contribution to the world. There are so many causes I could happily give my life to…

I’ve kept a vaguely amusing list:
Traumatic brain injury and incarceration, food security, soil, survival rates from accidental burns, cycling, open source, open data, right to repair, menopause, freedom of information, open source ecology, banning balloon releases, fermenting, hemp (not dope), maintenance, taxation (income not salary), dosing of children by parents who misuse drugs, childhood play, teaching babies to sign, therapy, trauma permaculture… and that’s excluding welfare reform, political reform, all the other big ones!

And *anger* — when I read Twitter too much and become enraged at disrespect of our politics and society, at huge waste on empty, divisive gestures (Rwanda), at stupidity manifest (in 2024, gamifying Accident and Emergency waiting times?), at horrific wars and politics the world over… and slightly closer to home, at public sector tenders, skewed markets, who and what ideas get noticed, and all the usual human frailties.

I was in happy ignorance, thinking that I didn’t have to worry about politics, from 1997 all the way to 2016… it’s a toss-up whether the misuse and abuse of power, or the doing incredibly stupid counter-productive things that winds me up more…

And then, as you’d expect with a list like that, *balance* — or lack of it — keeps me up: balancing my passion for my work, the complications, the frustrations of running a business, with life, with trying to actually be a decent person and meet my own obligations… and there’s the usual human pains and strains — and in my case, allergies and migraines <sigh>.

But be careful though, because at the end of the day, it’s brooding, anger, self-pity, being a victim, self-righteousness, jealousy and envy that keep me up at night. It’s all me.


So that question always requires its complement: and what brings you *grace*?

That’s not hard, for me. Family, dog, nature. Learning, insight, wisdom, music, creativity (mostly that of other people, sometimes my own). Podcasts, books (occasionally), and, ultimately, quiescence.

I’m incredibly lucky that I can — almost always — close my eyes and happily float off to cloud cuckoo land. A warm bed, decent food and a safe place to be — maybe the doggle around too — that’s never so bad, is it?

So, how about you?

PS — and never drink coffee after 3pm, chat.