Was thinking today about being alone- the rhetoric of Trump and Brexit – from those not fully supportive of either -seems to be about feeling overwhelmed, scared, powerless and disenfranchised. Alone. Obviously this is just what gets into my ‘bubble’.
I used to think of my ‘bubble’ as being Brighton, Islington, north London- a sort of leftie, liberal and guardian reading, Camden lock living, organic veg eating, homeopathy beliving bubble. Now it seems my bubble is just me.
One reads of families breaking down, friends being unfriended and neighbour set against neighbour as we all try to process what is happening, whether Brexit means Brexit and what it might mean for Us, Our children, Our stress levels and The Economy.
I can’t remember any time in my life when I was so aware of The Economy. I have worried about friends, relationships, health, love, philosophy and the meaning of life but The Economy?!?!!
Is it the most important thing?
Surely who you love, how you live, whether you are happy, healthy, cheerful, if you have friends, good books to read, enough food, walks in the park, pets, people to talk about nothing with-aren’t these are the important things?
I worry about young people (you know this about me!) I am concerned that information is getting to all of us too quickly, no buffers #nofilter. I used to think of myself as a ‘guardian reader’ but no one buys the paper anymore – and anyway I know too much about the other side of the story to trust a media source. This is just an example of the fact that groups that one could belong to and filter information through and discuss things with seem to have gone. Trade unions, churches, affiliation by newspaper or BBC versus ITV all seem retro and meaningless now. Leaving us and especially young people on our own.
Even the recent marches seem different from those that went before. The sense that each of us has, and indeed should have, our own reasons for marching, our own agenda, our own understanding of the issue serves to divide us even as we walk together.
The comfort of being in a group and agreeing, compromising, working together for a greater goal – this seems to be missing as we each struggle to work out for ourselves what’s important.
It’s time to think community – if this is not one of those words that is so tainted by some politicians speech as to be useless-Young people (and us!) will need to find ways to marry critical thinking- that allows for listening without being brain washed or terrified, an understanding of one’s own beliefs- where we come from and awareness of our own history and the acceptance of differences in others and where they are coming from. We need to build communities that are real not just a snapchat.
Community; where you feel supported, safe, able to express yourself, be yourself with others, agreeing to disagree and still sharing life events. No longer alone.