We are living in interesting times. There are a lot of challenges. However, it strikes me that as a country and as a human race there has never been more opportunity for positive transformation. This is the same in our practice, in our lives and in the world – challenge is the catalyst for positive change. The last time the world had such an enormous challenge was in the second world war. Positive results from that were the NHS and the United Nations, both extraordinary organisations that have massively benefitted the health, safety and wellbeing of millions.
The environmental movement was progressing well before lockdown and now the world has had a chance to pause and breathe fresh air and hear birdsong, let’s hope we can now all work together to prevent the pending climate catastrophe. Here is an opportunity for us all to take some action. This crisis asks us to give up some of what in the West we feel we have become entitled to. Evidence suggests that the biggest personal contribution we can make to prevent climate crisis is to switch to more of a plant based diet. Personally, I am giving up foreign holidays. What are you going to do?
The terrible murder of George Floyd by the very people who should be there to protect all citizens has sparked protest across the world on a scale never seen before. Supported by many white people. I was stuck be the following quote from the artist Banksy on the subject:
“At first I thought I should just shut up and listen to black people about this issue. But why would I do that? It’s not their problem. It’s mine,” the artist wrote. “People of colour are being failed by the system. The white system. Like a broken pipe flooding the apartment of the people living downstairs.”
He continued: “This faulty system is making their life a misery, but it’s not their job to fix it. They can’t – no-one will let them in the apartment upstairs. This is a white problem and if white people don’t fix it, someone will have to come upstairs and kick the door in.”
Hopefully, white people around the world will now see the institutional racism that leaves BAME people in life circumstance where they are more vulnerable to dying from Covid-19 and be suitably appalled and prepared to each give up some of what we have so everyone gets their fair share.
I cheered as the statue of Edward Colston was pulled down and thrown in the river. I was staggered that it had not been removed before. Hopefully, the white community will fall behind our black brothers and sisters to support them to gain their human right of equality. We must all speak up wherever we see racism, regardless of the personal cost. It’s just the right thing to do. See below for some things you might do.
Over the years that I have been writing this blog, I have only had one serious complaint, which was that my blog was too left wing and political. However, this needs saying – over and over again – until it sinks in – although I expect I am preaching to the converted!
All kind wishes
What can you do to support #BlackLivesMatter?
Sign petitions and donate
Every signature represents another voice saying the situation cannot be ignored. You can also support those who tragically lost loved ones to pay for funeral costs and donate to charities and organisations actively fighting against racial injustice. Find out more about how you can support #BlackLivesMatter.
Support your black colleagues
For your colleagues it can be difficult. This is an emotional and traumatic experience, and you should be mindful of the toll this may be taking on your black colleagues, so ask how you can provide material support.
To understand is the beginning, to act is the result.
Speak to people and recognise what you don’t understand and be willing to learn.