It is usually when things are at their worst that I need to write the most.
At the moment, though, with all the awfulness going on in the world, I haven’t known what to say – and, rightly or wrongly, I took a step back, retreated into work and fiction where it feels safe and familiar. Where it feels like I have some control and everything is not just in free fall.
Maybe I hoped I would wake up and it would all have been a bad dream but my eyes are open now and here is what I see:
This country feels ever more divided. Overly dramatic? I don’t think so.
Families and friendships have fractured as a result of Brexit; it pit father against son, wife against husband, life-long friends in direct opposition. People often disagree, of course, but it’s the vitriol that has accompanied it that has splintered relationships.
Neighbours are turning on neighbours, with those who should feel safe being abused in the street or even in their homes.
Our politicians are in chaos – many out of touch with the wants of the people they represent, the people who elected them.
Every time I watch the news I’ve been repeating a phrase from the Fred Rogers quote: “look for the helpers, look for the helpers”. They might be harder to spot at the moment but they are there.
We don’t need to agree on everything but the fundamentals of how we behave towards one another should be clear.
Whenever I need confirmation of what they are I look no further than article one of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Adopted on December 10th, 1948, the declaration came as a direct result of the second world war.
The first time I read it, it gave me goosebumps – and I still feel the power of it today.
Its supporters have struggled for six decades to make those words a reality. To me it seems like we’re heading backwards now, which is why it feels ever more important to continue to promote them, to push them (although perhaps with a more inclusive word than brotherhood at the end).
I didn’t bring Freya into this world. I don’t want her growing up surrounded by ever more hatred, inequality and violence. And hiding from it, no matter how tempting, is not going to change anything.
So, I’m going to do my best not only to believe in helpers but to try and be one too.
What do you think? Am I alone in feeling like the world is in chaos? What can we do to help make it better?
10 thoughts on “Keep looking for the helpers.”
This is very poignant. I agree. Regardless how people voted in the referendum the fact is we are now out of the EU. I understand that for many supporters of the remain campaign that this is a hard pill to swallow. Yet, like it nor not, democracy has spoken. The chances of a second referendum have already been dashed (rightfully so in my opinion. It would have undermined the whole point of a democratic vote the first place) and so now we have to make the best of the current situation. Sadly it seems like a lot of people are more interested throwing vitriol about than they are in accepting the situation and trying to find the best way to move forward.
Thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree about the second referendum (and I voted remain). The majority has spoken, for whatever reason, and now, as you say, we need to put the vitriol aside and work on what next. Let’s hope that happens soon!
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Well said. We do need helpers. I have a feeling that new helpful faces are about to emerge. In the mean time we each need to do our small bit in not letting the haters and dividers have their way.
Argh! Sorry, I found your comment in the spam filter, which I always forgot to check. Complexly agree, don’t let them win.
Tara, this is wonderfully articulate and speaks me to so much! I feel the same, that our world is chaotic and its changes have frightened me to the point of skipping the nightly news. Here in the US there seems to be friction between the public and policemen. Our political system is shotty and candidates for this November’s election are not worthy to be on the ballet. Through all this, I pray for God’s strength and to turn around what mankind is doing. I will remember the helpers, for that’s true! In every violent and unjust situation there are helpers there to lend a hand and keep our faith in the good in the world. There still is so much good in this world but gets overshadowed by evil. Thank you for your thoughtful post, something to think about!😊
I’m so pleased it’s not just me. I’ve been watching events unfold in the US too (my brother is an American citizen) it seems a frightening reality at the moment. You’re right though, there is still a lot of good in the world. I need to remember that too 🙂
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Oooh. I am feeling very political at the moment. So much going on. So much lying, cheating, corruption, spin. But though it may be greatly entertaining to little old me, it’s not doing the country a whole lot of good I do admit.
From my own personal view I would say the country has been divided since well before the referendum. It’s a division that has been greatly advanced by austerity measures that have hit those least able to do anything about it. Newspapers and popular TV news is insidious in the way it ‘suggests’ how people should think and what opinion they should form. More worrying is who actually controls it?
I could prattle on all night long but I won’t 🙂 I voted to stay in the EU but for one reason only. Because conservative policies have been bad enough while we were in the EU, without the EU to step in when our future right-wing governments go a step too far is bad news for the ordinary working man in the street. For as long as Theresa May remains Prime-minister and Labour continue to bicker and fight over who should be leader then I fear she is going to get her wicked way on many undesirable outcomes.
What can we do to make things better? Dare I say support Jeremy Corbyn? For me, he’s the only person in politics at the moment that talks any sense, it’s a shame nobody listens.
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You could well be right. Maybe the Brexit result just gave some people the authority to think they can act in despicable, often racist, ways? I joined the Labour Party two weeks ago for the sole purpose of keeping Jezza as leader – and I know at least five other people who have too. I don’t get why the party can’t see that their members want him. Instead of all the in-fighting they should be supporting him, especially now. It is one of my attempts to be a “helper” 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to comment.
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Aww, brilliant my little fellow Corbynite 😉 Apparently the coup was plotted long before Brexit. http://www.thecanary.co/ has been quite a good site to follow recently if you’re interested.
Spot on post! It’s scary watching the news at the moment, and reading it online. I think you do have to take a step back and like you say look for the good, and the people who want to see change and help others! They’re out there, and a lot of them, but for some reason our media seems hell bent on biased reporting and focusing on the bad and worst case scenarios. I think change is coming, and it’s about time, the next generations need us to pull our fingers out and stop hating, stop destroying and thinking beyond ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘I’m alright Jack’.
I think you are right, we should all be asking ‘What can I do to help make it better?’ and I’m thinking long and hard myself at the moment, I’ll post up when I have a clearer idea of things, no matter how small I can do personally! 😉
Btw, nice new design, I love it! 😉