Being reflective (as I often am) I couldn’t help my feelings of immense pride at being British this week. This is no new thing but it is something which was brought to the forefront of my mind after watching the horrific events unfold at Grenfell Tower. I’m sure, like me, you saw the first flushes of news and thought ‘how terrible’ and ‘poor families’ (I’m not being flippant just bear with) I don’t think any of us expected the tragedy which developed over the coming hours; after all, we live in the 21st century, not a Dickensian society.
Without going into the events of the whole terrible and unavoidable disaster, I want to focus on our nation and how we’ve dealt with yet more loss and devastation.
The respect and admiration I feel for my fellow human beings is felt in abundance and here’s why: we are amazing. To see all these people come together on the streets of a busy and faceless community is humbling and awe inspiring. People from all walks of life with open arms, giving up their homes, possessions and time to help all involved. No matter of race, colour or religion. No one cared who they were helping. As the bible says ‘love thy neighbour’ and they bloody did. People just wanted to help. Frustratingly, I wanted to help. Living 100 miles away it wasn’t possible.
As a nation I’m not sure how much more we can take. Seeing our Queen visiting the victims of our latest tragedy made me proud and love her even more. How heartbreaking for her? To continue with humanity and love. The English reserve firmly in place but filled with respect and support for all. She didn’t care they were black or white. She never commented if they were refugees. She never judges. How much compassion did you see her hold in her gaze? Tell me we don’t need a royal family. She proves that we undeniably do. I for one took so much comfort from knowing she was there.
Then I thought back to the three recent terror attacks and (like you all) feel we’ve lost so much as a nation lately. I reflected on my last visit to London: a multicultural world of vivacious colour and sound.
And I laughed.
I thought about those who were trying to poison young minds. Those who prayed on the vulnerable; like drug dealers, pushing their dangerous and damaging propaganda at lost souls wanting answers to life. Those of horrific views pedalled about: race, migrants, class and religion. Tiny narrow minds so tunnelled that they only believe in their superiority as in their own race. Fascists as bad as the terrorists. You know I don’t like lumping together but in this case I make an exception; worthless no marks whose whole belief system is based on making misery and disaster for the greater good. Well guess what? They’ve no effing chance. That’s why I laughed.
We are blinking amazing. The majority of us don’t give a fig about any of the labels that are attached to the inhabitants of our crazy and turbulent world; we just care. This is clearly evident when you look around you. The passion and power we exude as a collective is far greater than any of those war making mongerers. We don’t want unrest. We don’t want destroying. We don’t (as the election proved) want messing with. We want stability as a nation. We want to be! And what a bloody great bunch we are too!
And then I thought back to my earlier statement about the frustration of not being able to do anything…I can do something! I will thank my lucky stars everyday that I have a family, friends and a warm loving home. Life isn’t perfect, but it can be threatened in many ways. I am incredibly lucky. I will not take my good fortune for granted. And if I do I will remind myself of the two brothers from Syria…they thought they’d escaped the worst only to be let down by what appears to be penny pinching and dangerous cutting of corners. I will love my neighbour and endeavour to try and do the right thing as humanly possible. If I see someone in need I will down tools and offer my support. I’ve said it before and I’m shouting it again: ‘Be Kind’ and as a nation we can continue to smile and love in these adverse times.