searching for hope

sunset-through-treesThis blog was never supposed to be a place to talk about politics. “I’m not a political person” I used to state and, “anyway, I don’t want to discuss this stuff in public” so, “I’ll keep things light-hearted on the blog… nothing remotely controversial.”

Then this year happened. Oh, didn’t it just. Didn’t. It. Just. And I am done setting myself rules about what I can and can’t write here. I’m emotional – a ‘big feelings’ person – I need to express myself and if I want to express it here then that’s fine. Nobody has to read it if they don’t want to. There’s just too much big stuff in my head right now and I need to write it out. Maybe writing will help.

So, this year, this steaming turd of a year, I’ve looked at the world around me, at horrible acts of violence committed by individuals and groups, and at awful decisions made by governments and voters and just thought, “What the f*ck is going on?!”

I’ve read masses of articles and opinion pieces and tried so hard to understand some of these events – like what would make the UK vote for Brexit or America vote for Trump. There are so many different voices, so many different opinions – not just ‘two sides to every story’ but a clamouring mass of them, tugging and screaming to be heard. It makes my head spin.

What I mostly see though, is that a lot of people are hurting and feel helpless and angry and scared. And that we seem to have lost our ability to understand views that differ from our own. We exist in our ‘echo chambers’ baffled or appalled by those outside of them, as the divisions between us get wider and wider – so wide we may as well be living in different realities.

I’ll make no bones about it – I think some terrible decisions have been made this year. I think they’re going to lead to great pain and hardship for many. And I hate that, I hate it.

But… there’s always got to be a ‘but’…

I’ve got to hope that we can get something positive from these decisions too, if we try hard enough. I want to believe that they can be a starting point for acknowledging the divisions that exist in our societies and and that they compel us try to bridge that divide so that in the future we are guided by hope and togetherness rather than hate and fear.

One of the great points of optimism in both the EU referendum and the US election results was that the youth voted overwhelmingly for what I’m going to call ‘togetherness’. Young people in the UK voted that Britain should stay in the European Union and young people in the US voted for Hillary Clinton, a democrat whose campaign was built on the idea of being ‘stronger together’.

Our future is right there, in those voters. And what we have now is a great big kick up the bum – a horrible, shocking, devastating kick up the bum, but a motivating one nonetheless – to start listening to each other properly. Not just listening to our friends or those who think similarly to us, but to those people whose actions and views we can’t understand at all. Working out how to listen could be a challenge. Making sure our governments and politicians listen to all of us, another one. Not to mention building understanding, and a society based on that. But we have to start doing something differently. Don’t you think?

Anyhow, I did a drawing. It’s about hope and love and respect. It’s about putting out the fires of hate and fear and re-building the future together. For all of us.

If only it could be that simple.
But we’ve got to try.

Writing Bubble

14 thoughts on “searching for hope

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks, Reneé. I’m hoping for positive Brexit plans but with Trump… the more he reveals, the worse it looks! I think we’re all going to have to stand together and hold fast to our principles about what a decent society should be like. Grass roots support may be where the hope is at. See you soon! xxx
      Maddy recently posted…What I’m Writing – week ninety-sevenMy Profile

  1. Niki

    Really love your drawing and whilst it may not be so simple to recreate that on a global scale, it is absolutely possible on a personal and community environment. Those of us who believe must keep on keeping on.
    Niki recently posted…evergreenMy Profile

    1. Maddy Post author

      Oh Sara, it must be awful to live in America at the moment. As Trump announces his advisers things only look bleaker to me. I guess it’s only four years (‘only’?!) and we have to hope that things will change for the better after that and that it never gets like this again. Lots of love to you and yours xxx
      Maddy recently posted…What I’m Writing – week ninety-sevenMy Profile

    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Rachael, I agree, we are all only human and it’s natural to spend more time listening to the views of those who think similarly to us – it’s easier to empathise. I think it’s harder to listen to those with whom we disagree but actually, if we give it a chance and reach out on a human level, empathy can leap in and surprise us. It’s all easier said than done though. Thanks so much for sharing that post on shelter – I love it! Such a warm genuine reaching out to others. xxx
      Maddy recently posted…What I’m Writing – week ninety-sevenMy Profile

  2. Sophie Lovett

    There is so much here that parallels my thinking… Right down to the stubborn optimism that surely something good has to come out of this steaming turd of a year. There is certainly no way now that we can ignore the fear and divisiveness that has been simmering just below the surface – but maybe by facing up to it we might just start to find a new way forward… Xx
    Sophie Lovett recently posted…Writing at the end of the worldMy Profile

  3. Alice @ The Filling Glass

    Oh Maddy. I’ve only just read this and you say so much that I agree with and yet, as you may read in my post, I voted for Brexit (although I wouldn’t support Trump), we are on different ‘sides’. Which only goes to show doesn’t it? ‘We seem to have lost our ability to understand views that differ from our own’ was the crux of what I was trying to say, even if I didn’t say it as eloquently as you. I was not vocal about my voting previously because I do not identify with the public rhetoric around the Leave campaign but I also felt so isolated from those identifying themselves as ‘Remainers’, who are people I would normally have much more in common with. I watched earlier an interesting little film about dystopias versus utopias; it provides no answers but I like you hope for a better future for all, not some at the expense of others. Ah where am I going with this…I 100% agree things need to be different, people need to listen to each other and realise that sometimes there will be differing points of view. I don’t know how we get there but love, empathy and kindness is surely key. Have you ever read Paying it Forward? xx
    Alice @ The Filling Glass recently posted…Conflict resolutionMy Profile

    1. Maddy Post author

      I think there’s loads we agree on, Alice, including the idea that we, as a nation – in fact, as a world full of people – shouldn’t let our differences drive us apart. That’s one of the things I’ve found so tough this year – it’s felt so very ‘us’ and ‘them’ when I’m sure there is middle ground to be found. I really can’t stand the way the tabloids stir up hate between sides, and social media seems to have played a huge role in politics this year too. Anyway, looking forward to seeing you and having a proper chat! Thanks for commenting xxx
      Maddy recently posted…What I’m Writing – week ninety-eightMy Profile


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