Finding the silver linings in the shit storm that is society right now
It's been a particularly intense few months for the UK. Knife attacks, bombs, cars mowing people down, snap general elections, a horrific fire and the politicians who run the country generally behaving like heartless bastards.
Similar things have been happening across the pond in the USA, and of course, let's not forget that there are constant tragedies happening around the world in countries our media can't be bothered to share news about. As Westerners we remain ignorant to the horrific reality of life outside of our relatively lovely shores.
The last year has felt like the world is going to hell in a hand basket. There have been several moments where I have felt so overwhelmed by the sadness of it all that I've just burst into tears watching the news. And a few nights ago I saw the burnt shell of Grenfell Tower with my own eyes and cried all the way home. I know people who've been so overwhelmed by what's been happening that they've started having anxiety attacks. And we're not even the people directly affected by most of this so the mind boggles at what those poor sods are going through.
I've been trying to make sense of why so many terrible things seem to be happening at the moment because I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. And it seems to me that the world is in the process of slowly hitting rock bottom because it's only when when we hit rock bottom that the majority of us are shaken out of our comfort zones enough to band together and make positive changes. Sad, corny but true.
So in honour of trying to find the silver lining in the crap that is society right now I wanted to share a few of my favourite examples...
Brexit roused the youth out of their political apathy - Okay okay so we haven't technically Brexit-ed yet and fingers crossed...we never will. But it seems as if the shock of the result is probably what roused a million young people to pull their fingers out and register to vote in the general election. This statistic filled me with so much joy. I don't care how they voted, the important thing is that they actually bloody voted. Particularly us gals who are apparently the least likely to do so. Which given women in the early 1900's died so that we could even have the opportunity is very naughty.
Trump exiting the Paris agreement has led a lotta important organisations to join it independently - I think most of can agree that Trump is a moron so I won't spend any longer on that. And I'm sure you know that he made the decision to leave the Paris agreement (which limits the greenhouse gas emissions a country can make) because "climate change isn't real" * punches pillow really hard * Dick move Trumpy. But what you may not know is that the move has encouraged 30 mayors, three governors, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses to rebel against him and state their intention to follow it anyway. Who knows what else they will rebel against and what power does a president really have if the country he governs goes against him whenever it can?!
Grenfell Tower brought London together & has highlighted social housing issues in a way we cannot ignore - Unless you've been living under a rock you're aware that a tower block tragically went down in flames due to a combination of an accidental fire and a very poorly maintained building which barely met fire regulations. Over 70 people have been confirmed dead but there still reman several hundreds unaccounted for. It's rocked London in a whole new way. What has been amazing is how it's brought people from all different backgrounds together to support in different ways. As well as how it's brought the social housing issues which have been bubbling away for years, right to the forefront of the whole country's minds.
It is awful that it takes such extreme circumstances for people to pay attention, but the important thing is that is the majority of us are now paying attention. And now that society has your attention, then I'd urge you to do something about whatever it is you're liking or not liking.
There are so many opportunities to join groups to support whatever political or social causes you believe in: raise money for charities supporting vulnerable members of your community, physically go down and volunteer, hit the streets to protest, educate yourself and vote in elections. A quick Google will help you achieve all of the above.
Without wanting to sound like a preachy grandma - whatever you do, please just don't do nothing. Things have hit a rather delightful variation of rock bottom and by doing so they offer us the perfect opportunity for us to rebuild a world that we want to live in. And in the meantime, let's all focus on finding those silver linings and making a whole lot more.