I am rarely gobsmacked. But Jesus H Christ all of this emoting and donating is pushing my buttons.
You might be wondering, before we dig in, what this has got to do with any of the work I do. If you’ve got 5 mins, stick around and I’ll clear it up, I swear it makes sense.
Religious building is damaged by accidental fire. No one is hurt. Building is linked to organisation who can definitely afford to repair it (hey there Vatican, you ok hun?). Wealthy people, and businesses, and FALLING OVER THEMSELVES to throw money at fixing it. I think £500 million in a day.
“It means so much, it’s a symbol of hope, it’s our identity, blah blah blaaahhhh.”
Meanwhile, kids are starving to death the world over, living in poverty and with abuse, climate change is out of control, and we, the developed world, apparently can’t afford to do anything about any of it, or even acknowledge the human (and animal) suffering.
Theresa May tweeted, “To underline our solidarity with France and her people, the bells at Westminster Abbey will toll at 5.43pm this evening to mark the moment the fire broke out yesterday.” Yep, let’s get all ceremonial and sombre about this fire, after all, it’s the worst possible thing you can imagine. Oh wait, remember that the survivors of Grenfell Tower have nowhere permanent to live, and no compensation? And that 72 people died? And that no one has been arrested? And I wonder, how many buildings still have the same cladding?
I am SO SICK of being complicit in a society that attaches more value to things than people. I know what some people are gonna wanna throw at me here, so let’s lay it out. Yes- I like nice things. No, I don’t sell all of my things to generate money for good causes. But I give a fair amount. And a key concern for my very small business is how to evolve our commitment to supporting our community, and to increase our contributions to SOSDAP, and the free and subsidised services we offer.
What I know is that when I am able to build my business, which goes hand in hand with enjoying my life, i.e. respecting that a positive experience of the human condition is the very gift I’d love for more people to receive, I grow my impact and my influence. Yes I could give away more of my things and myself, but I am investing in my wellbeing, and that of my family now, to lay the foundations for a growing movement.
That movement is one where normal people, women particularly, notice that they don’t need to buy into this utter bullshit. The idea that you look outside of yourself for your identity. That a building tells you who you are. That a building is inherently more worthy than you and your life. I am working for a world, or even a tiny proportion of the world that I reach, where there is more money in the hands of women, and families, and less in the grip of huge corporations and governments who have their priorities completely fucking wrong.
More money means more power. And the challenging thing will be for us to claim this power, and to resist the internalised patriarchy and capitalist madness we’ve been swamped in all our lives. But come ON, it’s gotta be worth a go.
How long will we sit round shaking our heads at the state of things? Many of us are feeling politically homeless right now, but politics isn’t the only route to change, in fact I’d say it’s becoming a redundant one. We change the way we live when WE change the way WE live. Those of us who are privileged enough to have access to information (i.e., the internet), and the capacity to interpret it, or to seek support in making changes to our personal perspectives- we MUST. If we want our kids to grow up in a world where blood stained children matter more than stained glass windows, we MUST.
Here’s what I will DO. Because it’s in our actions, however small, that we vote for the world we want. We create it- please don’t think that anything you do is insignificant. I’ll publish this post, with the intention of rippling some thinking round this. I’ll go and make a personal donation to our fundraising partner, Southend On Sea Domestic Abuse Projects. If you feel called to do the same, you can join me here.
I’ll continue to work to empower women to live and earn on their own terms, to channel that money and privilege consciously, and to take actions aligned with creating a more compassionate world. Because seriously, honestly, what the actual fuck?! I’m done.