Thursday, 30 June 2016

It’s easy to bash out Facebook posts and bash each other

I was heartened by the above video link today. If more of us (on all sides, and I am challenged too) focussed on actually doing something about the injustices in our societies instead of just ranting, the world would be a better place. I'm finding the smug 'we were right' rhetoric (and no you are not necessarily ‘right’ yet) of much (not all) of the remain moral high ground headache-inducing (I know, I’m trying to avoid at least some of it! I know where not to look but it is prevalent and I don’t want to be uninformed) although there seems to be less classist, bigoted, intolerant language proliferating as far as I can tell - I have said plenty about the ironic nature of this one dimensional way of speaking about brexiters, so I won't be tempted to wax on, but I am so challenged about the way I use language at the moment; as I believe we all should be. I am also aware of just how much we dwell on the negatives rather than getting out and doing something positive to create meaningful change. I don’t think brexiters should be smug either – they too have not yet been proved ‘right.' We do need to be more considerate of others who have different points of view. If we all just sit in our camps how are we going to ever make peace? Can we be hopeful about the future? If not, for goodness sake, let’s get out there and create some hope.

I also wish Farage would shut up, but we need to all try to begin working towards a better and more inclusive society. I am wary of coming across as lofty myself, but can't we start focussing on more positive things? There is a gaping chasm between rich and poor. Perhaps we need to think more radically about how we share wealth and success? Do we need that spare room? That extra house even - could you let it rent free or for a subsidised rent to a homeless/hostel dwelling family? A struggling student? How can we reach out to new members of our society? Tutor their children - music, extra language tuition? Or better, trade: Teach me how to cook your cuisine or sew or accountancy/economics/maths – I am particularly rubbish at those last three - and I will teach whatever skills I have, should you need some of them? Have a family for dinner once a week, or even once in a while? Collect and share stories - put on more community arts events? Or just have a street party! The referendum just may be the society quake we all need so we can start putting our money where our let's face it, rather large mouths are. And yes, I am the first to admit I have a big mouth! Let's be big in the right way, though.

Personally I think it's better that racists are exposed and dealt with. Cancers breed in the dark. We need to bring everything into the light and begin to tackle things. Racism is an evil that exists in the hearts of men and women - the referendum simply emboldened them. Well, lets be bolder still. Let's tackle it, but in the opposite spirit. We have to model the right way to behave. We have to model love. I challenge us all to go out and do something other than throw stones. For those remainers who are trying to engage in meaningful debate rather than just derision, I salute you. As for the racist brexiters whomever, wherever they are, if I was to meet one, I would say this: "I understand you may feel disenfranchised in some way, but there are plenty of rehab groups out there that will help you deal with the root issues in your life. You need help. Access it. Start at the CAB. Can I help at all?" (this last question requires Mandela-like great character and strength, but we may as well aim high). I don't believe people set out to become racists, they become like this because of what they have been taught or experienced - can we be challenged to engage in some way? If we don't, the problem will get worse.

On this note, please like the page we have set up to tackle racism and share ideas/personal experiences, here:

Don't let's be victims. Let’s not be passive. Engage. It’s easy to bash out Facebook posts and bash each other. But we can get on with things ourselves, we don't need men (and women) in suits to dictate how we live our lives. Let's start a revolution in our own backyard. Whilst the politicians squabble, let's get on with things. Then we can post about them. Instead of causing further division, your sparkling social action might inspire people instead.


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