As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to create some “little bits of Wonderland” in my life. It has been both a joy and a privilege. It also means that there are projects that I’ve rescued that will be there long after I’m gone. So, apart from a bit of self publicity, why am I writing this now?
Well, because I’m now doing some consultancy for the Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning. It’s another piece of Wonderland just off the A12 in Essex. And, in case you’re wondering whether this “Wonderland” thing is a little too incestuous and self congratulatory, it isn’t. How do I know this? Well because a lorry driver delivering something today got out of his lorry and said, “This place makes me feel better about life”.
Now that is both heartening and sad. The former for very obvious reasons and the latter because the world doesn’t need to be divided into good and bad areas. I, for example, live in a very nice part of London yet, not too far away are areas where I wouldn’t like to live. Does that mean that the people who live there don’t deserve any better? I hope not because luck, or the lack of it, plays a much bigger part in life than some people care to admit.
So next time you talk about “the homeless”, “the unemployed” or “the disabled” , stop and instead describe them as “people who are homeless”, “people who are unemployed” or “people who have a disability” and thank your lucky stars that it isn’t you. And, no, it’s not being pedantic. It’s about seeing them as people and not a category. One acknowledges their humanity and the other sees them as a problem. I know which I prefer.