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Wednesday, 9 November 2016

A Message of Hope

(Written on the morning of Trump winning the elections in the USA)

It's in the aftermath, isn't it.

Anyone who's ever lost anyone dear to them, anyone who's ever suffered great loss. It's afterwards. When it all goes quiet, when the friends go home and you are sat, in your living room, in your bed, and the enormity of what has happened strikes you right in your stomach and nothing exists but that hurt. A lump the size of a golf ball in your throat.
That sort of grief.

Earlier this year I suffered a horrendous wrong. That wrong left me in bed for weeks, unable and unwilling to move for anything or anyone.

But I eventually got up, and threw myself wholeheartedly into charity work, into youth politics, into making a difference, with the skill set I knew I had.

I had a group of friends more solid than a rock to depend on, and that made all the difference. The late nights they stayed up with me, wordless, over a pint, in a quiet living room, in a pub. That love was what made the difference. and what pulled me through to a brighter happier place.

Love.

It is the most written about word in history. (no stats, but I'm pretty sure)

Love, in its truest form, (in my opinion) is giving to another, for the good of another, and with no thought of recompense.

Now, after a triumph for hate in America, more than ever, we need that love.
I'm not going to go into detail on politics. Far wiser people have said far wiser things. What I will say, however, is that social action can be that Love.

More than ever, it is important to get involved with Charities.
More than ever, it is important to volunteer.
More than ever, it is important to give to another, for the good of another, with no thought of recompense.

This morning was another aftermath. I saw friends crying, I saw friends across the internet grieving. I also saw a lot of love, and a lot of hate. There was an 'us against them' mentality, and it was poisonous.

Don't fill in petitions and self-righteously call everyone who voted for Trump/Brexit ignorant or poorly educated. Don't call people concerned with immigration, racists. Some of them are. Some of the people who voted for Clinton/Remain are. You are buying into the 'us against them' brigade and proudly marching at the front of their platoon with a banner.

The thing that annoyed me the most about Brexit were the friends who I knew didn't vote, but were filling in petitions demanding another referendum and bleating about how they hated old people.

My generation, don't let our generation be defined as the generation that talked a lot but watched while bad things happened. Let us not be the retweet generation. In twenty years, our generation will be the Hilary Clintons, the Donald Trumps, the David Camerons. That's a responsibility that we will bear, and how will we bear it?

Get out there, join in with your local community. Volunteer with causes you care about. That is your legacy, not the petition you fill in. The giving to another, for the good of another, is your legacy.

Not hate.

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