2016 has been a manic year which doesn’t seem to let up. It started with the deaths of many of our most loved musicians, artists and actors. It carried on with the repeatedly worse gun massacres in the States, with more innocent lives lost. Yesterday, Turkey’s Ataturk airport, the third busiest in the world, suffered one of the most horrific terrorist attacks yet, as three different suicide bombers killed 42 people and injured hundreds more. But that wasn’t the only story in the news.
Even Brexit was preceded first, by the death of the politician Jo Cox. Last week’s result was more than just a shock, as millions of people now try to figure out what this means for their lives. Not least in the UK, but its message to right wingers everywhere, all across Europe and the States. The largest spate of racist attacks has just unfolded in the UK, since the result.
Out of democracy, hatred has been born.
Out of power, the UK’s finance sector, finds itself trapped between forces it cannot control. Stories of jobs moving abroad take London back to 2008.
The significance of these events can pass you by, if you let them. Turkey’s atrocities came 5 days after Brexit, and I am ashamed as a human being, to admit which story was filling our news sites that day.
Change starts with you
Amongst all this powerlessness, we have to recognise that we have the power to make things better. But the change starts with you. Not someone else who has more financial backing / more time / more resources than you, not someone who is more involved. YOU, my friend.
Ideas start chain reactions, but not without you thinking them first. Conversations can create ripples of consciousness, but not without speaking aloud. This article can spread inspiration, but only if it is read, felt. Carried around in people’s minds like a heartbeat.
Start appreciating what you have
When the world feels like it is about to end. Start with appreciating what you have today. Tomorrow hasn’t happened yet and yesterday is over. Live in the present. Your health, your home, your friends, your colleagues. Your family. You do not need to do more. You do not need to wish for something else, or anything better. You are fine just the way you are. No, you are perfect the way you are.
Several years ago I had a humbling experience, and like all who have, I can tell you that there is nothing more perfect, or more defining, than the moment you are about to lose everything. That’s when you realise what you have. That thing is you. You. It is your greatest gift.
Your family does not need any more money. But they do need you. They need you to tell them about what is important. Why we are here. You can make anything work. Anything.
London’s great leveller
London’s great leveller came at a time where house prices were so high that two top lawyers I know could not afford for many years, to buy a house to live together. But imagine the people at the other end of the spectrum? It came at a time when the tube network, once so useful, was so oversubscribed that travelling on it became inhumane. At a point where the growth in London, outgrew the rest of the country, and low and behold, the country rejected it. At a time where most of the UK didn’t feel European, anyway. We found out that borders drawn along lines of prosperity and poverty can divide a nation, more than real borders do. Farage might be the making of the UK, in a very different way.
London has been outgrowing it’s European counterparts for years. We had our cake, and now we’ve eaten it too. It bred people like Farage into thinking we were the greater. At the cost of our friendship with Europe, and even the UK. There will be no Great Britain without Scotland and Ireland. We will not be the United Kingdom any more.
Life’s great levellers remind us that what is important, can’t be bought, sold, and traded, anyway. Remember what is great, and hold onto it.