Learning from the Past… or not…

Way back in 1964, Robert Kennedy made a speech in Jo’burg, South Africa.  During his speech, he made the claim that the Chinese have a character in their alphabet which means both crisis and opportunity.  Well, Bobby, history has you down as one of the good guys, but it seems you got this particular ‘fact’ wrong.  The internet tells me that this is not the case.  Apparently no one has ever found the source of this remark or even discovered which one of the several Chinese languages could have had such a character.  None of that matters of course.  He was making a point, and making it well.  Moving forward in any way at all has the potential for both crisis and opportunity.

In the spiritual circles in which I move, (yeah, I know, right)?, I have heard this described as a threshold; a place of crossing over from one place to another; leaving the known for the unknown.

The reason I have been thinking about this this morning is because today, June 8th 2017, there is a General Election here in the U.K.  The polls are open and the electorate are being exhorted, cajoled, encouraged and begged to get out there and vote. I sent in my postal vote a couple of weeks ago, so I’ve already exercised my hard-won right and duty.  After all, Emily Wilding-Davies lost her life in the struggle for women’s suffrage!  So today is a day when we stand on a threshold of sorts.  What will happen tomorrow?  Will I wake up to more of the same?  The current government returned to Westminster to continue to give us more of the same?  The pollsters, (you know the ones who got it completely wrong about Brexit last year), are telling us that the Conservatives are likely to be returned to Parliament, albeit with a decreased majority, which may make life for the Tories a little more difficult.  Oh, how I hope not.  I really , really do not want more of the same.

Foodbanks; in the 5th richest country in the world there is surely no need for anyone to go to bed hungry, yet child poverty is increasing in this country.  if it weren’t for Foodbanks many would starve.  Homelessness; there is a housing crisis.  Rents in my home city are astronomical; buying a house is just a dream for the majority of young people. Education; has been tinkered with to the nth degree and still, young people are being failed.  Teenagers with a reading age of 8 is really not acceptable, yet it happens. Cuts to the Benefits system which has unfairly impacted on the disabled and long-term sick; sanctions that leave people with nothing, literally nothing on which to live.

Don’t even get me started on the huge waste of money that is Trident, our so-called nuclear deterrent… that would be a rant that would take up way too much space.  So, in my opinion, more of the same would be the crisis.  My hope, my dream would be the opportunity to have something very different.  I long for a government that works ‘for the many, not the few.’

I really, really hope that tomorrow will bring the unexpected – just like last year – a result that no one expects.  Still we shall see.  Fingers crossed!


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