General ramblings

This is our call to action

November 9, 2016

I’m sure I’m not alone in waking up this morning with a sense of deja vu.
I went to bed last night knowing that the world would have changed come the morning. That America would have it’s first ever woman President, or it would have Trump.
And I never really believed that the people of America would choose Trump. In the same way I never really believed that the people of the UK would choose Brexit.
I felt the same disbelief this morning as I did on that morning back in the Summer, when I realised that my little bubble that I exist in on social media and in real life, was just that. A bubble.
And that the people I interact with everyday, who talk about hope and tolerance, and peace and equality, are in fact in the minority. That we have somehow reached a point where anyone preaching the exact opposite of these values, can be elected into one of the most powerful positions in the world.

My disbelief was quickly overwhelmed by despair.
Trump is a man who doesn’t even believe in climate change, and the Republicans now have a majority in both the Senate and in Congress, meaning that he will find it far easier to implement his policies than Obama ever did.
As my kids came tumbling into our room and piled onto the bed with us, I resented their innocence, their complete lack of awareness that while they were sleeping the world had just shifted again. To a scarier place. To a place I am starting not to recognise.
And at that point, I will be honest, the despair felt pretty overwhelming.
I looked at them and all I could see was a point 30, 40, 50 years down the line, where climate change has taken hold, and they are looking at us, looking at me, incredulous that we did nothing to stop it. Asking us why, at the point when we had a chance to take action, to make a difference, we repeatedly made the wrong decisions, moved in the wrong direction.
And not for the first time, I had to fight the urge to curl up under the duvet and just give up.

I never really want to admit publicly that I feel overwhelmed, that it all feels hopeless sometimes, and that sometimes I think about giving up. I somehow feel like I should be this annoyingly optimistic cheerleader, waving my recycled pompoms and telling everyone it will all be ok.
But I think it’s important to recognise it. And to verbalise it. Because I can’t be the only one who feels like this sometimes. And what we need to do is to realise that it’s ok, that it’s normal and that we all feel like this sometimes. So that together we can support each other when we falter and when we start to despair.

But as I lay there in bed, with the kids play fighting, oblivious to any concerns bigger than what might be for breakfast, I knew that giving up wasn’t, and isn’t, an option.
If the world really is going to hell in a handcart, it’s not going there because of me and my actions.

Maybe this is what the world needs right now. Maybe the pendulum needs to swing so far one way, before it can begin it’s swing back again. And that the momentum it gains will be what we need to push us towards a brighter future.

So I think that rather than view this latest shift in the world political landscape as reason to despair and give up, we need to see it as our call to action. Our call to re-double our efforts, stop fanny-ing about, and to make our voices heard.
The thing I come back to again and again, in my mind, and here on this little blog, is that our actions matter. The choices we make every single day matter.
Each one of us has a voice. Each one of us has a choice. Each one of us has a vote. Each one of us has the potential to make the world a better place day. Everyday.

Now is the time.
Get informed. Get vocal. Make the best choices you can for the world you want to see, and for the world you want for your kids and grandkids.
At times like this, individual actions can seem meaningless, but all each of us can ever change is the actions that we take, the choices we make.
Now really is the time to be the change you want to see in the world.

So while today we might all need some time to cry, and to mourn a world we thought we knew, tomorrow we need to turn our attention to the world we want for future generations.
It’s time for a gentle revolution.

margaret-mead

(Visited 1,105 times, 1 visits today)

31 Comments

  • Reply Rebecca November 13, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Thanks. I needed to read this. Here in Australia, I have felt physically sick every time I think about it. You have given me a better perspective with which to approach the future.

    • Reply Jen November 18, 2016 at 10:46 am

      So pleased to have helped, even if just a little Rebecca. We can do this!

  • Reply Chickpea November 13, 2016 at 7:26 am

    You have put into words so eloquently what a lot of us are feeling. I have felt like giving up, saying sod it, you will get what you wished for, but that is not an option. We have to keep fighting to save our planet, to fight against hate and intolerance, time to put my big girl pants on.

    • Reply Jen November 18, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Yes, big girl pants all round!

  • Reply Rachelle Strauss November 11, 2016 at 5:11 pm

    Jen, I’m so pleased you shared your thoughts. This is so clearly a post from the heart – far reaching and tender. I cried as I read your words, because I felt your pain, your fear, your ‘what ifs’. We may be in the minority now, but we’re gathering more and more members into our little tribe 😉 that’s clear from the beautiful comments you’ve drawn. Have a relaxing weekend, cry and rant and when you’re ready, paste that beautiful smile on your face and keep on keeping on. The world needs you now more than ever. Sending love, xx

    • Reply Jen November 11, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Hi Rachelle
      Thanks so much for your lovely words. I keep trying to tell myself that maybe a Trump residency will actually rally and motivate far more people than a Clinton one would have done. There may have been a temptation to sit back and assume that she would do our work for us. Now we know that it’s down to us and in some respects that might galvanise more people? That’s what I’m clinging on to anyway ????

  • Reply Cornelia Wilson November 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Hello Jen and all the other people out there who love, and agree with, what you write,
    here’s a campaign that is worth spreading as much as we can https://twitter.com/StopFundingHate/status/796627906617344000
    best wishes to you all,
    Cornelia x

    • Reply Jen November 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks for sharing this Cornelia ????

  • Reply Liz at In Stitches Daily November 10, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I too despaired yesterday when I heard the news, and felt quite hopeless. How could I ever make a difference with my little everyday choices and principles? I blog/tweet “Choose wool”, “make good use of remnants and scraps” etc, but it’s like a squeak against the big noise. But, then I remembered a video I saw on-line which had the same affect on me until I thought it through. It’s called ‘Forget shorter showers’ by Derrick Jenson – an apocalyptic view of the destruction brought about by mega-industry and industrial farming, and how our personal acts of eco-consiousness make, relatively, little difference – living simply isn’t a powerful political act. There needs to be a powerful activism against the big boys, so to speak. Good point, but it’s surely those people who ‘retreat into little acts of eco-consiousness’ who petition against the big players, swell the numbers of Greenpeace and 38 degrees. It’s a start, and it starts at your own front door.

    • Reply Jen November 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      It is a start Liz, and I like you believe that we all need to start somewhere, and then keep doing one more thing. The more people we can inspire and engage and empower, the louder our voice will become ????

  • Reply Alfred Chow November 9, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    I suspect the shift in political landscape could be down to fear.
    Some of us fear the clear and obvious damage humans are doing to the world and so try to do their bit to fix it.
    Others fear the ‘inexplicable’ changes to the world and seek ‘someone else’ to blame.

    Sadly there seems to be more of the latter group then the former.

  • Reply Tasha November 9, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Hello from the USA and thanks for these thoughts. I agree with you, and with Hillary’s remarks this morning that all we can do is continue to fight for what we feel is important. But I also think that in order to really solve anything we need to get out of our bubbles. I’ve been thinking about Brexit too, and how clearly there are people on both sides of the Atlantic who are so frustrated and scared right now that they will vote for people and policies when they don’t even necessarily understand or agree with them. If we as progressives don’t figure out what is motivating those people and reach out to them, all we will get is more divisive elections. It breaks my heart that climate change and the very future of our planet have become politicized, especially here in the US. I think the only way to fix that is to start talking to the other side and bringing things out into the open. We won’t all agree on policy, but if we could just agree on some facts it would be an amazing improvement. Now, how to make that happen as one person with one voice I’m not at all sure … but I’m going to try. You are exactly right that we all still have a voice, and a vote, and choices to make that can make a difference.

    • Reply Jen November 9, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      I was shocked watching Before the Flood that climate change denial seems to be pretty mainstream in the USA and on some of your TV channels Tasha. So yes, as you say, just getting a consensus on the facts would be a brilliant start.
      And you are right that we need to work out how to come together.

  • Reply Alfred Chow November 9, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    I had similar feelings this morning too. The utter despair of what the world has become, and is continuing towards.
    We can mourn, but never give up.
    We can feel fear, but not give up the fight.
    We can feel alone, but know that we re not.

    The minority of peoples, those with good sense, can still continue to do what is needed to be done.
    Others who waste should not lead us to waste too.
    It should not be “if you can’t beat then, join them.”.
    We can still do good, because it is the right thing to do, even if we are unsupported.

    One day, fail or succeed, we can say we tried our best and did what we knew we could, and should, do.

    • Reply Jen November 9, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      You’ve reminded me of another of my favourite quotes Alfred:
      Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”

  • Reply Sue Parrott November 9, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Wow Jen….never has a truer piece of writing ever been written!!!

    • Reply Jen November 9, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks so much Sue.

  • Reply Kitty November 9, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Never give up hope. If we can spread this climatemovement as an oilspill, then that is a start. I quess we need to shout harder than they do.

    • Reply Jen November 9, 2016 at 7:39 pm

      We need to make our voices heard, but I think it’s probably about thinking of ways to do that that don’t mean that he who shouts the loudest wins. I’m not sure what that is, but you can’t fight fire with fire, or hate with hate. We need light and love, and to trust that they will win out.

  • Reply Chris November 9, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    This is just what I thought this morning and that I wanted to dig a big hole and put my head in it, but I have adult children and 5 wonderful grandchildren, so the battle goes on for them and the rest of the world. Onwards and upwards, we must not give up, from a small group we will suceed

    • Reply Jen November 9, 2016 at 7:38 pm

      Onwards and upwards Chris, onwards and upwards!

  • Reply Zoe Turner November 9, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Absolutely….. Feeling exactly the same as you Jen….. for me the only difference is my children are somewhat older at 11 and 13 years….. and they have some understanding of both Brexit and the USA presidential elections. My 13 year old daughter asked me this morning “How can so may women have voted for Trump?” I had nothing to say. I often wonder what I am going to say to my kids in a decade or so when they turn round and ask me how our generation can have let all this happen…… Like you guys I am trying to find the positives and have sat down this afternoon and done my online learning programmes so that tomorrow when I am back at work I can be the best that I can be in my own little World!

    • Reply Jen November 9, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      I have to admit to being kind of grateful that my kids haven’t asked about it, not really being old enough to understand it. How do you even begin to explain it?
      Good work on getting back to learning, we all need to be the best people we can be right now 🙂

  • Reply kevin November 9, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    This is brilliant, this is exactly how I feel. I am not convinced my actions will make a difference but I am not going to sit by and go along with the crowd because it is easier. I hope that the trump era will show how bad things can get before the US get a candidate who will then give the climate the attention it needs, hopefully we will still have time to make this change.

    • Reply Jen November 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm

      I truly hope so Kevin. My worry is that we are running out of time.

  • Reply Maria Josephine November 9, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I’m with you all the way, but I think there might be another dark day for the world coming fairly soon. The French presidential elections take place in Spring next year and I’m dreading that Marine Le Pen might win – not the first female president we were hoping for. She sent a message of congratulation to “President Trump” about an hour before his victory was officially announced, and no doubt she is as inspired by the result as most of us are horrified.

    • Reply Jen November 9, 2016 at 12:06 pm

      The political landscape is shifting in a fast and scary way. And it seems that we must accept that it is reflecting the views of the majority. I guess the question becomes how did we get to this point, and how do we move forwards towards a safe and peaceful future, with a planet that is capable of supporting us.

      • Reply Dora November 9, 2016 at 4:28 pm

        I like you, woke up to find my faith in the world had been dented. Your blog post is very touching and it does make one weep. I am very disappointed that politics has become more like an entertainment event, than the serious business of how we should live. What we want to leave for the next generation and the generations to follow and how to ‘make it better’ and share.

        • Reply Jen November 9, 2016 at 7:40 pm

          You’re quite right Dora, it does seem to have become like some kind of horrendous reality TV show gone wrong. And with such potentially grave and far reaching consequences.

  • Reply Shauna Hughes November 9, 2016 at 11:41 am

    Jen, your blog post is just perfect on this day. You have articulated perfectly my tired and disjointed thoughts this morning. Especially about the issue of climate change but also about our own little bubbles that we create protectively arund ourselves. How can this have happened I say to myself, when all my friends are such progressive decent people. So, yes today I am going to sit and mourn but tomorrow will see a new activism.

    • Reply Jen November 9, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Thanks Shauna.
      I found writing it and articulating my own disjointed thoughts really helped to clarify how I am feeling, and to ignite my overwhelming sense of urgency around mobilising and motivating us all to take action.
      So pleased it helped even just a little.

    Leave a Reply