Reasons to be Cheerful – Standing Together

As you know, I made a promise to myself that on a Monday I would only ever write something positive, in an attempt to ensure that at least once a week I focus on the good things in life. Well, it seems a little strange to try and write a positive post when the world seems to be in so much turmoil at the moment. I’m writing this on a day when the world is waking to the news of yet another terror attack in London, and as is to be expected, the mood right now is somewhat somber. I always feel a little unsure what to say in situations like this – everything I feel is already being said in some way by someone. There seems little point in declaring outrage at the attack on innocent people and our values, expressing pain and sadness for those affected or admitting I feel a little uneasy and scared right now – all of that goes without saying. But at the same time, it doesn’t feel right to fall silent and not mention it at all. So what is a blogger to do? As you know, politics and news events don’t feature highly on this blog – I most often write about frivolous and largely insignificant things like skirts and shoes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care or talk about those things. I mostly choose to keep those conversations between myself and those I trust the most. But as I have a full time job, the majority of my posts are written in advance of them being published, and this time around it just felt wrong to go live with my planned post, which is basically a very self indulgent piece along the lines of, ‘Isn’t driving sooooooo hard? How great am I for finally doing it?!’ So instead, in a change to my normal choice of subject matter, I thought I WOULD write about current affairs, and how they are making me feel right now, because if there was ever a need to focus on the good things in life, that time is now.

I don’t want to focus on what happened, how it happened, how it should be tackled – I simply want to focus on the good things that have still unbelievably come from what has happened, and talk about how proud it makes me to live where I do. I have always been proud to come from a country that values freedom – where I can go where I want when I want, where I can wear what I want and say what I wish without fear of reprisal. I love that I live in both a country and city where difference is not only embraced, but is celebrated. But what now makes me more proud than ever is that my fellow Brits are still willing to stand up for that – in times like this we do not allow our beliefs to be compromised. We come together and state, clearly, that no act of violence will break us apart or squash our freedom. No matter how much we are hurting, no matter how filled with rage we are, the majority of us will simply cling harder to our faith in humanity. We will offer up our homes, our time, our money and our skills to help each other pick up the pieces. We will put aside whatever we had to do today to offer support and help to those who need it. We take food to the emergency services, we offer free lifts and taxi rides to those who are stranded and take in people who have nowhere to stay. And we do it with a smile. I love that amidst all the horrific images, we can still zero in on the fact that one fleeing reveller still had a pint in his hand and have a good laugh about how typically British that is – because you have to be able to laugh at times like these.

This isn’t to say I don’t feel scared – even before this latest event I cut short a shopping trip the other day, because I suddenly and unexpectedly felt uncomfortable walking into a crowded shopping centre – but I do have faith. Sometimes it is easy to feel like the world is a terrible place, especially when what is happening to us right now is a tiny percentage of the horror experienced in other countries everyday, but if events like this do anything, they prove just how strong, and filled with love and compassion we are in this country, and how that can’t be taken away with acts of violence. It reminds us that these people are truly in the minority, and the rest of us are caring, tolerant people who will do all it takes to be there for one another. And that, to me, is one very big reason to be cheerful even at times as difficult as this.

I hope all my readers are safe and well and not feeling the after effects too hard. Tomorrow I will return to writing about all things pretty and pointless, because life has to go on, but I will still be thinking about everyone caught up in these terrible events. One thing is for sure though,  won’t stop being proud of who we are when we come together.

Jo Cox



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