We need to talk. Where do we go next?

We need to talk

It’s as though we’re becoming immune. “After the general election and the EU Referendum, I was prepared for the US Election.” It’s become a familiar conversation.

We surround ourselves with friends because we have similar values. We sit and pontificate, but we’re usually preaching to the converted, discussing with the like-minded, and reinforcing views.

After the US Election, I couldn’t help but think, for all the random films I’ve watched, I’ve never seen a film where a reality tv star becomes the leader of a country. 

The idea that it’s a random dream. The idea that I’m living life in a chamber set to see how many random things life can throw at you.

There’s a sense of hopelessness, of being a small fish without a voice.We need to talkThis year, as years gone past, I attended the local Remembrance Sunday parade and service. I feel a ridiculous sense of pride seeing my children get involved. Building their comprehension at 5 and 7 years old of what has gone before to let them have such freedom of speech. I know they don’t fully ‘get it’. How can you understand the gravity of war when you are so protected from the imagery? And as the divide grows greater year-on-year, of those who remember first-hand, and children who can only respect, the importance of respect grows ever greater.

This year, the words during the service were more pertinent than ever.

What we say, what we do, how we act and how we behave.What are we saying?

When people read our words, on social media more so than ever, what do we mean?

Do we want to create a change for the good? Is it a positive message? Are we sharing words we would be happy for our child, our neighbour, a stranger to write?

And that’s it really.

What are we happy to say, and where are we happy to say it?We need to talkSitting on social media, behind the screen which protects us from human contact, banging away as a keyboard warrior.

Not caring for the consequences.

Of the negativity we create, the stereotypes we continue to reinforce. And the inequality which undoubtedly follows.

Whilst we sit at the keyboard, nothing is changing.

The world is not changing for the better, as the gap between rich and poor starts to look more like a void. As we care less for people’s hope as we do for our own self-interest. As we built so much around emotion, with disregard for the basis of fact.

How do we create national policy based on the vote of the minority?

How do we allow mandate when so many have made the choice that they would rather not to make their voice heard?

Neither for nor against.

Abstaining. For such a plethora of reasons.

Sometimes the world doesn’t feel like a great place.

As feelings boil over and we see acts, of violence.

And we wonder what caused that degree of violence.

I wonder how our children will grow up in this world, where parents and educators can promote making ‘the right decisions’ and ‘informed choices’, but we surround ourselves with media without mandate, where headlines are at the whim of increasing sales.

I know that I will do everything to encourage my children to be positive, to choose kindness and generosity of spirit.

But how to start the conversations, to appreciate other perspectives, how do we appreciate the diversity we thrive upon, how do move toward inclusivity without mandating opinion? 

I really don’t think we can become better by leaving people behind, I don’t think we can afford to leave people behind. But how do we move forward when society itself is dividing, not just by two- not just for and against, but those content not to be heard.

I don’t have any answers, but not to start a discussion just feels like staying where we are. Which doesn’t feel good enough- socially, economically- culturally.

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