Attila was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453. He was also the leader of a tribal empire consisting of Ostrogoths, Alans and Bulgars, among others, in Central and Eastern Europe. He is also considered one of the most powerful rulers in world history.
Attila [invaded] and [ravaged] Italy on June 8, 452, one-thousand, five hundred and seventy years, ago, today. Communities became established in what would later become Venice as a result of these attacks when the residents fled to small islands in the Venetian Lagoon. His army sacked numerous cities and razed Aquileia so completely that it was afterwards hard to recognize its original site. Aëtius lacked the strength to offer battle, but managed to harass and slow Attila’s advance with only a shadow force. Attila finally halted at the River Po. By this point, disease and starvation may have taken hold in Attila’s camp, thus hindering his war efforts and potentially contributing to the cessation of invasion.
Attila, by-name Flagellum Dei (Latin: “Scourge of God”) [ruled] jointly with his elder brother Bleda until 445. In legend, he appears under the name Etzel in the Nibelungenlied and under the name Atli in Icelandic sagas. The empire that Attila and his elder brother Bleda inherited seems to have stretched from the Alps and the Baltic in the west to somewhere near the Caspian Sea in the east.
In 452, the Huns invaded Italy and sacked several cities, including Aquileia, Patavium (Padua), Verona, Brixia (Brescia), Bergomum (Bergamo), and Mediolanum (Milan). Aetius could do nothing to halt them but, the famine and pestilence raging in Italy in that year compelled the Huns to leave without crossing the Apennines.
Attila invaded northern Italy in 452 but, spared the city of Rome due to the diplomacy of Pope Leo I and the rough shape of his own troops. Legend has it that St. Peter and St. Paul appeared to Attila, threatening to strike him dead if he did not settle with Pope Leo I. Attila died the following year, in 453, before he could try once again to take Italy.
The Best That It Can Be…
On the face of it, this is a good statement: the positive approach to our life and the way we live it. Why should it, our life, not be the best that it can be?
Three events occurred and, together, they drove my patience out the window. First of all, a friend chatted to me about her concern for her son and daughter-in-law, about how they were working all hours to buy new furniture for their new house and, that every time they came to stay, she had to take all the packaging off the food in her fridge, otherwise, they would throw it out if it was anywhere near its date. Then, I watched Countryfile on the BBC and they were showing how a whole new industry was growing around waste food collection and its use to create energy for our homes. Then, I read an article in Positive News where a tribe in India stood to lose their land because a huge conglomerate wished to mine for bauxite (raw aluminum). This is such a toxic substance that mining for it poisons all the land and the people. The article was in Positive News because the tribe won their case. Sadly, there are many other stories where the outcome is not so happy.
We humans, mostly in the west (I regret to say our influence is spreading), have come to believe we deserve the best. We have interpreted the best it can be into all aspects of our lives. This means we should aspire to the best house, best kitchen, the best car, furniture, clothes, television, computer, mobile phone and, of course, the best food. Our food has Best Before written on it so, subconsciously, we see it is not good enough for us if it is near that date or, that the apple has a blemish or, the potato and cucumber are a bit knobbly…so, we throw it away. [A]re we not worthy of the best?
How Much Does Best Cost?
The consequences of all of these choices are that, currently, the world is at war over mineral rights, (Darfur is only one example of genocide and destruction based on the greed of the west for [minerals] used in mobile phones and other electrical equipment). [M]en and women are used as slave labour to make our clothes, the planet is being carved up and, the rivers polluted for the copper, zinc, etc…to go into our newest, and best, electronic toys […]. Billions of tons of food is thrown away each year because it is considered not to be the best it can be, whilst those that live in the countries that grow our food starve.
I am not advocating a hair shirt, sleeping under a hedge or eating rotten food and starving but, in all things, there is a balance. And, yes, I do have a mobile phone which is second-hand, over six years old and works perfectly for the rare emergency calls I make. The balance is, I do not feel I need to change it every time a new, improved model comes on the market. Millions of mobile phones are put into landfill and are not recycled. The price we may pay for misunderstanding best that it can be… is monumental. There are many people affected by our choices that we never see or think of. The people who grow the food or mine the mineral do so at a very high price. If a people [live] on a land that is rich in minerals, that land will be torn away from them, they will be placed in camps and the reason why, is…you. Our misunderstanding of what makes us special, a success [or] admired, is, now, tightly bound up with possessions, material goods and if I do not have the best and newest of everything, I will be judged a failure.
A Complete Consciousness
It is the best that we can be, as a human and, as a complete consciousness. The best that we are is not made up of, or lack of, possessions. It is about how we live our lives in relation to the rest of the universe and, in particular, with each other. It is we, the so called civilised world, who are so insecure in who we are as souls that we need the third world to be plundered so that we can surround ourselves with our props and say to the world Look. I am worthy. I have the best that there can be.
Think About It
In his book The Human Soul, my husband, Chris Thomas, asks that we Think About It. Think about the consequences your actions will have on others and, then, make the choice that feels right to you. It is your choice and you cannot blame the consequences on anyone else. Everything we buy is made from the planet, itself. This is the planet which has given us the choice of physical life rather than a free-floating soul. Chris has said in his book that we are here to prove that it is possible to have a full soul in physical form and, that, the whole of our existence has been to prove that that is possible. Everything that is happening on Earth, our solar system, our galaxy and the universe beyond, is currently happening in order to help us to be the best human beings we can whilst remaining on Earth. The Human Soul can help you to determine where you are within that process. With Christmas fast approaching, your love and affection to your family without buying something that would cause another family [on] the other side of the world pain and suffering? Think about it. Are you the best that you can be?