To be drawn towards a people group or country doesn’t mean you swoop in to fix their problems, or try and make them assimilate to your culture, but to listen and adapt yourself to their culture. It is to open your eyes to the weaknesses and arrogance of your own culture, and to change not the people but yourself. True mission is not so much about giving as learning to receive; not so much about speaking as listening.
Tag Archives | justice
While British politics has been merrily imploding, I’ve been finally well enough to leave the house. Hence: #millionsmissing ME funding protest, fish and chips by the sea, the boy’s baptism, plus NEW HAIR! TV, music, online recommendations
The best way I know to combat racism is to start where I can – by listening to the stories and wisdom of people who’ve experienced racism and xenophobia.
The pattern? Fear; anger; scapegoat; propaganda; law change; violence. The scapegoats? Disabled, LGBT, BAME or elderly people. Anyone who is seen as ‘other’. This same pattern seems to occur in other countries in other times, during an economic depression.
I’ve given my step-by-step guide for how to change the world – these are steps 6 and 7.
6. Ask people for help.
Contrary to Superman, saving the world is best as a team sport. Tentatively, I put a call out on Facebook – would anyone like to join me? Almost immediately, 100 people signed up to help. I was humbled by how many, with much greater experience at campaigning than me, were prepared to give of themselves.
7. Flail wildly.
(This is not necessarily part of it, but I did it anyway.)
“Enter Spectator writer Rod Liddle, who’s baffled by ME patients wanting better treatment than this… With a strange logic, he asserts that because ME patients deny that they have a psychiatric disorder, this proves they have a psychiatric disorder.
“Meanwhile, people are quietly dying of ME.”
Whenever I’m feeling the sense of shame of not achieving as much as I would have liked, I remind myself that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. Change often comes through lots of people doing small things imperfectly.
It is not just the lack of make-up that makes me feel particularly vulnerable and ‘naked’ about this film: I tell stories here that I have confided to very few others. The aim is to assist awareness of this much-misunderstood disease, and to campaign for a review of the Nice guidelines for M.E./CFS in the UK.