We live in trying times during which I am seeing most of the ideals that I’ve held as long as I can remember, if not laid to waste, at least temporarily pushed to one side. In this, my main concern is not so much my own well being, after all, I am fairly advanced in years; it is instead about the well being of my children and grandchildren. I had thought that they would have had the chance of a better life than my generation did. After all, hasn’t that been the overall pattern to our history going back many generations?
So, what’s my response? Well, it’s simple really, I will continue working towards those ideals as well as writing and speaking about a world that could be. And please don’t tell me that it couldn’t as it was during my own lifetime. The model for that better, fairer society was not only there but it was being worked towards. All willfully tossed aside in the name of quite what? Other than fear, greed, ignorance and bigotry; none virtuous qualities, you will notice.
Yet despite, this my own life gets better, possibly because I keep working at it. Those personal changes in my perception of myself and the consequent changes in my behavior now seem to be reflected in my working life. After ten years of trying to build a career as an author, my third book, “Lessons from a Chequered Life” is to be launched, a little late, in a book shop in Central London at the end of the month. More importantly, after five years and much frustration, my speaking career may actually be starting to take off. A year after my first contact, I will be speaking at a Women’s Institute soon and at a meeting of Chief Executives in the voluntary sector; this latter, nearly two years since my first contact. My project with schools is also about to start. Meanwhile, my family life is extremely enriching.
So, my response to those who seem worried about working with others in reaching out to the wider world is that, as always, I will continue to do things in pursuit of that more equal, communal, sustainable world; just as, in my own small way, I’ve always done. It’s one in which, despite the hiccups, is based on a belief in the goodness of most of the family of humanity and that’s no bad thing in these trying times.