A Southerly Aspect

fresh perspective

pride

‘It has been announced that the German Parliament will vote on Marriage Equality this Friday. It also looks likely to pass.

This is fantastic news for same-sex couples in Germany!’

It’s often asked why this kind of news is still news. When I see it appear before me it grabs me by the guts, turns them outside in and prompts an almost spontaneous bout of gleeful emotion. That’s why it’s still news. It makes me proud. It makes the world feel like a better place, a fairer place. It takes away a tiny bit more of the shame which continues to limit my world. This is news worth sharing, worth celebrating. This is pride.

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weeping for our neighbours

I grew up (and have chosen to continue to live) in a small village. That experience meant that my childhood upbringing was essentially free of all forms of sexism, racism, bigotry and intolerance. It has also presented me with its fair share of challenges. Life here rarely occurs in the shadows and often, despite best intentions, perceptions of my life choices are sometimes misconstrued.

Recent events – Westminster Bridge, Manchester, London Bridge and, of course, today – remind me what I already know about the importance of community, of collective action, of being a decent neighbour and sticking together when the very core of our existence is threatened. And as a consequence I struggle with any notion that segregation or separation could ever possibly be part of any solution for anyone – be that locally, nationally or internationally.

That comes with challenges – and arguably it actually often needs a more mature relationship for it to lead to the successful outcomes that the country and the world needs moving forward. I’m pleased Scotland appears to be sending that message to its current Government and in spite of the Brexit result I hope we can continue to build the best possible relationships with friends across the globe.

Our local action has a global impact. Tonight I’m weeping for people in West London, as if they lived next door.

still alive

I forgot about my blog. I’m still here, alive and kicking, and living my dream. Five years after penning my first post, and lots of hard work in between, I give you http://www.thescribtree.co.uk

scale

‘It was logical and natural to produce, consume and organize as locally as possible, which inevitably meant on a smaller scale. Therefore, to him the question of size was an overriding and overarching principle. Beyond a certain scale the people involved are disempowered and a bureaucratic machine takes over. Large hospitals, large factories and large businesses lose the purpose of enriching human wellbeing and become obsessed with maintaining and perpetuating the organization for its own sake. Therefore, it could be said almost invariably that if there is something wrong, there is something too big. As in economics, so in politics. So Schumacher believed in small nations, small communities and small organizations. Small, simple and non-violent were his three philosophical precepts’

Satish Kumar

creative

I’ve not blogged for ages, mainly because I’ve been being creative in other ways:

 

st bride’s centre

You really should visit www.stbridescentre.co.uk. We are a very cool bunch of people doing very cool things.

defining history

‘We normally think of history as one catastrophe after another, war followed by war, outrage by outrage — almost as if history were nothing more than all the narratives of human pain, assembled in sequence. And surely this is, often enough, an adequate description. But history is also the narratives of grace, the recountings of those blessed and inexplicable moments when someone did something for someone else, saved a life, bestowed a gift, gave something beyond what was required by circumstance.’

Thomas Cahill