I don’t normally write posts like this as I don’t feel I’m educated enough on politics, religion and society, but today I can’t keep my mouth shut or the thoughts out of my head, so I’m writing it all down. Today I feel heartbroken, not because something happened to me personally or to people I know, but because one person took it upon themselves to take the lives of others. They felt it was their right to kill or seriously injure people, many of them children, who were attending what should have been nothing but a fun night filled with memories of their favourite popstar. To the families and friends that lost loved ones last night, my thoughts are with you all.
We, as the human race, need to stop this from happening again. We need to stand together united and say that enough is enough. We want an end to conflict. The world is getting out of control. We are all so busy looking after ourselves that we are ignoring the people around us. Instead of constantly looking down at the screen in our hands (and I’m as guilty as the next person for doing this) we need to look up. We need to see who needs our help. Whose day we can make better just by doing one good deed for them. We need to switch our focus. Instead of seeing all the bad things happening in our world, we need to find the good. We need to promote the good. We need to teach children that good is better than bad.
Social media gives us all the information we want with just the tap of a button and we soak it all in, without doing any fact finding of our own, without checking if what we are reading has come from a reputable source and is true and not another example of ‘fake news’ that seems to be consuming our timelines every day. We watch news channels that churn out hours and hours of repetitive information, going over every last minutiae of an event – especially when that news is bad. All this attention is exactly what terrorists want. They want to be ‘glorified’ for their actions, they believe that their God will be proud of them for what they have done and all the media attention fuels others to follow in their footsteps. So how about we make a change? Let’s stop reading about these scumbags, stop buying newspapers, stop sharing articles about the terrorists and their actions. Instead, let’s share the good news in the world. Let’s talk about the toddlers who raised £10 for charity by doing a sponsored walk around their nursery garden, or the guy down the road that helped his elderly neighbour with something that they couldn’t do on their own. These are the true heroes of the world, these are the people that deserve to be talked about.
In the UK at the moment it seems that everyone is focused on the General Election. Our timelines are filled with political statements from supporters of all the parties. TV programming is regularly interrupted with party political broadcasts. The news is full of what the various politicians did on the campaign trail today. Who cares? These people are all the same. They are all power hungry and want that special seat in Parliament. It’s politicians that got us where we are today, politicians that started wars that didn’t need to be started. They ‘reformed’ our economy to the point where it’s pretty much on its knees. They saw themselves get richer and the poor get poorer. They are not interested in us and what we think, they simply walk the walk and talk the talk. I know that there’s always going to be some form of corruption in the world, but isn’t it about time we had people in power that put us first? That made a difference to everyone’s lives, not just the select few? I want a politician that’s going to bring home our troops, that’s going to end wars that are only being fought due to the lack of foresight by their predecessors. I want a leader that’s going to promote goodness. That’s going to stand up to the wannabe dictators of this world (I’m looking at you Mr Trump) and say no, that we’d rather go it alone than be friends with people that are racist, sexist and homophobic.
Parents, it’s our responsibility to make these changes too. We need to teach our children right from wrong. We need to look at our own actions and see what they are teaching our children. We need to teach them to share, to have respect for themselves and others, that bullying in any form is terrible, that studying, working hard and helping others is cool. We need to teach them that when they share that post on social media there is a possibility that it is going to be seen by thousands of people. We need to teach them to clean up behind themselves and that it’s not acceptable to throw their litter on the floor, that they will be held accountable for their actions. We need to stop giving our children everything they want without having to work for it, whether that is putting the dishes away, cleaning their bedroom, walking the dog or, if they’re old enough, going out and getting a job. Children need to learn that life doesn’t hand them everything on a plate. We need to teach them good manners – is it really so hard for people to say please and thank you these days? We need to teach them to be responsible for what they say and do.
As a society we need to stop blaming others. We need to take responsibility for our lives and the lives of those around us. Get your head up out of your phone. Switch off the TV. Go out into your community and see what you can do to make a difference – check on elderly neighbours, volunteer at the animal rescue centre, pick up dropped litter that’s blowing down your road. Fill your timelines with all the good news in the world, celebrate people’s successes, congratulate those that have achieved something, focus on the good. Small changes can lead to big things. Let’s make this world a wonderful place to live in.