In the next days, weeks, and months many, many people will come forward with their particular “cause for the riots”. With the best intentions in the world, they run a very strong risk of drowning each other out and homogenising in to one deafening mass that will go completely unheard by government. So government will continue to do whatever it wants, caving only to the most hysterical of requests.
Why? Why do we all feel the need to dig our heels in and shout our particular answer and suggestions as indignant gospel? Because, much like the rioters, we all feel that government is not listening to us – that they seem to be working to some agenda of their own which is not completely in line with anyone except themselves.
This is the very definition of the issues inherent in the current system – NO ONE is happy. We all feel very strongly that things should be very different, very quickly. We are all disillusioned with those in power. We all feel that the current state of affairs is completely unsatisfactory. We are all frustrated by how little we feel we can change. This is universal, and completely irrelevant of upbringing – hence my point that the issues in government are not the root of the riots per se, as the riots themselves are a warped, horrific, immature and underdeveloped manifestation of feelings we all share. What is so tragic is our apparent inability to look at the bigger picture and put differences aside to work on the points we agree on.
Yet as soon as change is proposed, what happens? We all decide our way is best, refuse to listen, to compromise – we come up with our own ideas and then decide they are infallible – and so the machine grinds on. When the opportunity for substantial change finally presents itself, no one is entirely satisfied with it, meaning the horrifically simplistic argument of “better the devil you know” proves alarmingly effective – and so the machine grinds on.This is the danger we face in the aftermath of the riots. The danger that despite all the debate, all the yelling, all the analysis, all the reporting, all the discussion, all the suggestions – nothing will change. We will continue exactly the way we always have, only slightly angrier, slightly more paranoid, slightly more mistrusting of our neighbours.So I beg of you, do not pick one idea and fight hand tooth and nail. Do not succumb to the erroneous notion that there is one universal answer – there is not.
Immerse yourself in the myriad of suggestions that are bound to emerge and grab hold of any and all that appeal to you. There are petitions springing up everywhere, they take less than two minutes to fill out – do so. Any idea that you find that you agree with, take a minute to share it on any forum you frequent. This is how we will find common ground – the ideas that speak to us all WILL be heard. If we all vote for everything we believe in, everything we agree with, certain universally held beliefs will emerge.This is the true nature of democracy – we do not vote for an individual, or a party, or a policy – we vote for ideas.And ideas can come from anywhere.
Join our tribe
We promise to pop a whole host of good stuff into your inbox every Wednesday to brighten up your week. Can't say fairer than that now can we?