Thursday 30 June 2016

Positive News

This morning I turned the radio on as usual to listen to the news.  It occurred to me that if I were a visitor from another planet listening to this news (assuming I'd been allowed to land on Planet Earth in the first place without a visa of some sort) I would probably catch the next spaceship home. I wouldn't want to stay on a planet where everything sounded so negative and sad. I am acutely aware that the world is in crisis (and I'm not just talking about the results of the referendum) but what about the positive news? Is there any? If so, why is it not being reported too?

Half an hour later and still no good news, so I turned the radio back off again and decided to make a list of my own 'news' instead.

Thursday 30th June 2016:

Life is challenging, I'm exhausted, money is tight, sad and troubling things are going on in the world and I haven't seen any leafcutter bees yet this year. The lack of leafcutters concerns me because tomorrow is the first day of July and they are usually well into their nesting season by now.

BUT..... the sun came out today(!), the Cottoneaster beneath my bedroom window is alive with the buzz of bumblebees, I can hear Sue (one of my neighbours) laughing out loud in the street outside, children are chattering away with their parents as they walk past on their way to school and the rambling roses on the cottage opposite are blooming. There is half a 'rhubarb, ginger and polenta' cake sitting on a green and white spotty plate in the kitchen, and lots of yummy leftover salads from last night in the fridge. The slugs haven't found the sunflowers or cosmos we planted in the big commercial olive tins outside our front door. We have a front door..... and a roof over our heads! I don't need to water anything because it has been raining so much recently. It's Thursday, so I can stock up with fresh local produce from the weekly market in Shaftesbury. The fact that I can chose to buy fresh local produce from the market puts the 'money is tight' thing in perspective and the walk up there will wake me up and make me feel less exhausted. Also, we have an allotment and because we remembered to net the beans in time this year (birds got them last year) we now have a crop of delicious broad beans to harvest and eat. I love and I am loved. Shaftesbury Town Council have stopped using Glyphosate in our parks and open spaces and lots of people are starting to plant bee friendly flowers in their gardens. I finally caught a glimpse of the tawny owl who has been calling every night for the last two and a half years from the trees behind our house, as he glided silently past our roof light a couple of evenings ago. It was magic. I am alive. I have friends to talk to. I can talk. And as if all that isn't enough, I  have three beautiful grandchildren who I love to the moon and back.....

I don't like all the negative news. It affects me as much as the next person and my heart breaks for those who are less fortunate than myself.  But I don't think it is healthy when the bad news completely drowns out the good, positive things that are still happening in most of our lives. No matter how small and seemingly insignificant they are.... I wish the people who produce the radio and TV news would end their broadcasting with a few more positive news items. Of course this wouldn't cancel out, negate or belittle all the bad things that are happening, but it would at least give people the motivation to want to get up in the morning.

Thank goodness for Positive News Magazine!

Sending love, strength and healing to all who need it x

P.S. The beautiful uplifting sunflower pic was taken by Olga Lipatova (thank you Chris for this information)

Monday 27 June 2016

A New Day

I've been struggling with all the negativity and anger over the last few weeks and thinking "I'll be glad when this referendum is over and we can get back to normal."  I'm sure I'm not the only one to have expressed this sentiment, but of course very few of us, including those who voted to leave, actually expected the result we woke up to on Friday morning..... and it is clear that things are definitely not going to get back to normal; whatever 'normal' is.

But we know that nothing stays the same. It never has and it never will. Change is one of life's inevitabilities and if we look hard enough we will always find silver linings and opportunities. I have to admit it's a bit of a challenge to find many silver linings in this case, but they are most certainly there.

Silver linings come in many different guises and in this case I believe (and hope) they may come in the form of 'realisations'.

One such realisation may come from the 'powers that be' who might finally understand (realise) that they cannot continue to ignore the wishes and voices of the people. History has shown again and again that people who are ignored and trampled upon will rebel and that those who have ignored and trampled upon them will be shocked and surprised by this.  Most of us (those who live in the real world) already know that the chasm dividing the rich and the poor; the haves and have nots; the North and the South; is untenable. Our leaders, however, have become so detached from reality that they have dangerously, arrogantly and foolishly ignored the wishes and fears of the people they were elected to govern. They have forgotten how to 'listen' so they have not 'heard'. They have forgotten how to 'see' so they have not 'seen'. They have forgotten the true meaning of words like 'truth', 'honesty', 'humility', 'integrity', 'honour' and 'duty' and in isolating themselves in the bubble that is Westminster, they have completely and utterly failed the poor, the elderly, the vulnerable, the young, the sick and the environment. They have failed the relationship.

It seems to me that voting 'leave' has been the only way people have been able to express their feelings of (to put it mildly) frustration and desperation with a government that just doesn't listen. The fact that some of the most vulnerable 'leave' voters may ultimately suffer more as a result of us leaving the EU (although we don't know this will be the case for sure yet) is ironic, but the point is, by voting 'leave' their voices have finally been heard.

Maybe, just maybe this result will prove to be the wake up call our politicians so desperately need! Maybe something good will come from the leave vote. Even though it will involve the breakdown of a relationship, if may spawn a new generation of leaders who learn from the mistakes and failures of previous leaders that they cannot ignore the people they have been elected to govern.

Every day is a new day..... and new days bring with them new beginnings, new challenges and new opportunities. Ok, so we have bigger challenges today than we did yesterday, but the sun is still shining (at least today it is!) the birds are still singing, and I am/we are still alive. It's time to roll up our sleeves and move forward instead of (or as well as) looking back. We are where we are, so we will just have to speak louder and fight harder; not only for the vulnerable people who some on this island would close their doors to.... but also for the environment and the diverse and amazing wildlife we share it with. Our voices, votes and actions will count more than ever now.

Edited to add: I am not suggesting that we bypass the process of coming to terms with the changes that are yet to pan out, or that those who are more deeply affected than others (emotionally, financially or otherwise) should 'get up and get on with it'.  I am just trying to find some kind of silver lining to focus on because that is what always works best for me when a situation is extremely challenging and beyond my control.

It scares the living daylights out of me when I look at the mess our political parties are in and wonder who on earth is going to have time to put the environment and the wildlife we share this world with anywhere near the top of their agenda...... but I feel we are better equipped and able to deal with this is we can find something positive amidst all the negatives. I hope that makes sense?