It is a strange morning when the country is in constitutional crisis; across the world there are people mourning deaths caused by those who have shot innocent people; climate change continues; economic justice carries on unabated and I feel that there is nothing much to write about. But looking at the news that is my reaction. And I have to ask myself why that is?
Have I become inured to these traumas? Is it now commonplace to suffer the stress that they create without really noticing? Why can I not feel that there is, despite the revulsion at what has happened in Christchurch, nothing for me to add? And have I simply become resigned to Brexit chaos, knowing that it will continue for years to come, whatever I say? And might we not win the war to save the planet? Is that possible, however well-intentioned some are? Will injustice always be with us, come to that?
I recognise all the risks: these things are possible. I recognise that I am distracted by work pressure as well, of which there is a lot right now.
What I also realise, simply by choosing to write this reflection, which like so many of my blog posts is an exercise in me seeking an answer to my own questions, is that it is vital that we accept that such risks exist.
I cannot be alone in frequently not wanting to watch the news these days.
I dislike the melodrama. I dislike the focus on negativity. I dislike that supposed balance seems to give credibility to those who do not deserve it. I dislike the fact that ethics appear to have disappeared. And that the question ‘why?’ rather than “what?, ‘when?’ and ‘how?’ seems to have fallen off the agenda unless it can be addressed in 15 seconds, which is always nigh on impossible.
But I realise that I have company in thinking better must be possible. And that it is something to aspire to, especially when so much of what we hear is so adversarially negative. By which I do not condemn those being adversarial, per se: I am condemning the negativity that seeks to oppose for the sake of it, which so much of populism does, as if finding a route to success requires elimination of alternative opinion when common ground is the usual bedrock of achievement.
I want to believe we can find common solutions when all I can see are far too many politicians and opinion-formers too readily looking to blame, when the situations they dislike are things for which they should be taking part of the responsibility in a great many cases.
In essence, on a morning where the world seems laden with problems I wish for a solution focussed way of thinking. The imagination to ask ‘what would a world that was different, and which was better, look like?’ And to hope that people will then try to achieve it.
That may not be newsworthy, and yet it is what we so often require. Mot especially when things are not working, as seems depressingly commonplace at the moment.