Wednesday 17 April 2019

What, in God's name or anyone else's, are we doing?

There’s an interesting commentary on the go at the moment. So I thought I’d break it down.  And make comments of my own!
1/John Snow calls points out that a crowd was mostly white and gets shouted at for highlighting it. By white people. An issue of national interest should reflect the nation. Where were all those people from different backgrounds and ethnicities? Were they genuinely not there, or was it more a case of the reporting focusing only on certain areas? This is happening a lot. It doesn’t mean that his comments were wrong.
2/ Notre Dame Cathedral burns: A desperately sad event. In a fantastically generous move, millions of Euros are donated by rich benefactors (who all gain as a result of being associated with it) to fund the rebuild of a holy space belonging to a church which is worth over $30 billion.  Fundraisers call for money from all sorts of different areas of society. Even the US administration offers help and money. So, in the spirit of Christianity, many people are raising valid questions about why this money had not already been made available by the richest to help the poorest (Camel, eye of the needle… hypocrisy?). Grenfell? Puerto Rico? The Planet?
3/ Extinction Rebellion protests in London are being reported as disruptive, causing problems for motorists, being inconvenient for workers. Barely any reports on the National news, from the BBC to Sky, has focused on the reasons for the protests. There has been no debate or commentary about the validity of people’s genuine fears about the future for life on this planet during this process, human or other. Sky’s Adam Boulton accuses the protesters of being incompetent, middle class and self-indulgent, citing the use of the Easter Holidays as a stupid time to protest because Parliament wasn’t sitting. Holidays. Times when families have time together. Where parents and children have “time off” school and work. Where working adults have time to get onto the streets and protest! What better time to protest a global issue which affects the future of our communities. Hardly incompetent. Middle class? What does that actually even mean anymore? Everyone is involved. This is an issue that affects literally every single person on this planet, rich or poor. Self-indulgent? If calling for global change because humans are killing the planet and therefore destroying life is self-indulgent, then we should all be as self-indulgent as bloody well possible!
Reporting of events, acceptance of responsibility, delivery of opinion rather than fact is all being done with an agenda that is both damaging and insulting. We call for our children to grow up when they behave childishly. Perhaps it is time for adults to do that instead, especially since the children are the ones showing true passion.
Our constant language of conflict serves only to fan flames of mistrust and anger. It has become commonplace to fight for things, to go into battle to be a warrior for everything. Leave that on the sports field, not in politics. It does nothing to bring communities together, to further debate, to generate opportunity for innovation and growth on a personal and societal level.
Corporations need to accept responsibility for their actions exactly as individuals are required to take responsibility for theirs. We all know this. We all see this. But what do we all do about it? We wait for someone else to make a move.
Time to get real.
Without making a change, nothing will change. It’s not rocket science and it’s up to every single one of us. Write to your MPs, join a peaceful group, help in your community, reject plastic, reuse, recycle, react, get active. There are so many ways to change what we do to reduce our negative effects on the world around us. There is no need for violence. We just need sense.
Please, can we just have more common sense.