Saturday, 9 May 2015

Don't despair, do something


What a depressing night. I stayed up long enough to sense that the exit polls were right, but it was only in the morning that the full horror was apparent.

It would appear that the British  English electorate fear economic instability more than they fear the dismantling of the welfare state and the ruining of individual lives. They've put corporate before people.

How could they?


I feel a bit sick when I think about how much worse things could get now that the Tories are in with the kind of endorsement they've had in this election. It seems to me, that those of us who are strongly opposed to the cuts, the devastation of lives, and the threat to the environment by our current practices are going to have to work harder than ever.

I have not so far lived the life of an activist. My first peace protest was earlier this year. I sign on-line petitions, and I've been an active fundraiser for charity, but until relatively recently I've been fairly benign in a political sense. Anyway, family life keeps me busy enough...

Well, yesterday after seeing what had happened I was convinced that more and more people are going to need to be engaged in stitching together the holes in the safety net for society's most vulnerable. Food banks - which should be unnecessary in a country as wealthy as ours - are going to be relied upon more than ever. Charity will have to provide where the government fails to.

So, yesterday I became a woman on a mission. I decided that I would take my first action to make a difference. A small action, but a symbolic one.

I went to the local supermarket and shopped for the food bank. As I'd decided to cycle the goods over to our local food bank (at a guess 3 miles away), I didn't want to overload the basket with heavy items, but I bought everything highlighted in red on their proposed shopping list which for Milton Keynes can be found on-line here.

I hadn't reckoned on having to change a bike tyre along the way, but this made my determination even greater - frustration and disappointment turned into focus and action.

I was happy that this also became a sociable activity as Hannah joined me for the bike ride and also brought some items raided from her cupboard at home. 

And you know what? I felt so much better about having done something with my morning: doing something that will help someone in need, getting out on the bike, meeting up with a friend and having a sense of purpose.

So, my friends, please don't forget that the re-election of a Tory government is not the end, but a continuation. We need to find something, anything, to counteract the negativity, to protect what we believe in and to make a positive difference. I hope this doesn't sound trite or preachy, but I think even small actions can make a difference. Even something as simple as a smile.

So, let's not despair, let's do something. Let's get out there and smile again. x



No comments:

Post a Comment