I’m not sure if it’s an age thing, a woman thing, an inner-hippy thing or perhaps just a human thing, but I find myself more and more recently contemplating how far from love and compassion society seems to be heading. With the influence of the freedom that was promised by the internet, there seems to have come an overwhelming amount of misinformation created and spread by those with agendas of hatred and greed. As I attempt to quash the overwhelming desire to pick up my banners of old (when I marched in the 1970s and 1980s we believed we could make a difference) and remind myself that I’m not as fit as I once was, I can’t help thinking it’s time to focus on a bit more love.
I watch with fear and dread what is happening in the US as they approach their election; when President Obama was elected I was so full of hope, but Capitol Hill soon put paid to any hopes he had for making change. The Republicans destroyed any chance he had to make the real changes the US needed, and they, as a result, created the monster that is Trump. I have listened to every debate with a growing sense that the level of hate that has built up, not just on those claiming a Trump vote is a protest vote, but also globally as shown by the Brexit voters who, likewise, claimed they were standing up to the corrupt and making a statement. The hate everywhere is leading to the breakdown of communities, the blame-game culture grows, the circle continues…..
I watch young people growing up in a place where they are taught to hate not just those who are different, but to hate themselves. They are bombarded with messages that tell them they are not enough. They must be taller, thinner, smarter, funnier, more cheerful, more positive, more successful…. And we wonder why they hate? How often do we teach our children to love? How often do we tell our teenagers that they are loved? Which are the messages that are most shared on the social media they (and we) all value? Rarely the positive, most are either fuelled by hate or people feel they have the right to comment with hate.
I watch my mum-in-law in a community where we’ve been accepted with open arms, no judgement and a chance to prove ourselves, and she is thriving. Thriving on love. She tells me she has a purpose now, one she’d never felt before, her mission is a simple one, to make as many people smile as possible every day. And she’s accomplishing her mission, by being part of a community and a volunteer in the local Red Cross shop. People go in every day, just to get a cwtch (It’s a Welsh thing; more than a hug and all about love) and she’s filled with joy.
It is so very easy to get caught up in the negative tones and emotions that seem to be so fuelled by our media and in this society that is dominated by the hate-filled and greed-fuelled power of the few, I intend to stop listening to them and instead, spend more time on Love. Love of my home, my friends, the amazing support network of family I have and new friends and community I love more each day. Will you join me, and make your attention focus one of love.