Like many of you I have been pondering over ‘the state of the nation’ this week. The news and politics in general makes for a gloomy outlook, which led me to thinking lofty thoughts such as ‘What real changes would I like to see in my world? (Note I said my world not The World).
And I drew up a bit of a list, which I shall share with you now. I wonder how many there are?
Work to Live – Don’t Live to Work. Wherever possible try to find a way to make your living according to your own particular skills and values. We all know people who are miserable at work, not that much happier at home and taking antidepressants like vitamins. And we all know how unhealthy this is for us, but claim ‘it’s always been this way’ and have no clue what to do about it. Well, for a start…
Know Thyself! I know it sounds a bit biblical but seriously – Get to know yourself and what really matters to you before you start applying for jobs, signing up for finance deals and agreeing to a 30 year mortgage. I was a victim of the ‘Get a Job’ mentality and as such I did just that – I applied for anything going, with no idea what I would be good at, knowing only that I wanted ‘to work with people’. As a result of my utter lack of focus in one direction I managed to be employed over 30 times in ten years – and I know how that looks!
Be Brave. It takes balls of steel to state your case and stick to it. I have often envied those young people I see today, sporting pink hair, piercings and a radically unique sense of style – I envy their bravery rather than their dress sense – and the fact that they are so happy in their own skin that they are ‘out and proud’ about their particular take on life and they don’t really care what you or I think. How refreshing!
Follow your Heart. I firmly believe that if you LOVE what you do , you will do it well. And if you can learn other skills to support your passion – you will make a great success of whatever you choose. For example, if you adore dogs, read all about them, get on really well with them and have a knack with all the dogs you meet – it is worth pursuing all options open to you. Walking dogs; grooming; training; breeding; boarding; dog/house sitting – all ways to do what you love, and if you can learn basic marketing – so you can advertise yourself, and basic book keeping, so you can manage your finances – you have the makings of a little business.
Maybe you are the creative type; fabulous at arty stuff but rubbish at maths – no worries, simply do what you do, do it well and collaborate with someone who offers the skills you lack. Out there somewhere is a maths-wizz who loves art but can’t paint for toffee – and she would LOVE to be a part of your world – (oh and she makes great biscuits to share when she does your accounts
A 30 year plan for Infrastructure. Yes that really is as sexy as it sounds, but it grinds my gears, so it’s going into the list (My list, My rules!) Rather than continue on this highly unsatisfactory merry go round of party politics and electoral fun and games, I want to see a Real Commitment to improving the infrastructure of the UK: Road, Rail, Sewerage, Mains power and now Broadband, swiftly followed by a Real Assessment of the needs of society: Housing, Healthcare, Education, to start with. I want to see an end to homelessness – even if that means some rather uncomfortable solutions – after all this isn’t a fairy tale, and life isn’t fair – but supporting decent human dignity is something everyone in one of the richest countries in the world should be proud to support. What kind of first world country accepts the ever rising numbers of homeless people, with the additional threats to wellness that his alone causes? We have seen 26% rise in those asking for homeless support since 2010 and it is widely accepted that homeless people will suffer isolation, unemployment and increasingly poor mental and physical health.
A Modern Approach to Education which doesn’t simply rely on regurgitated information to prove ones worth – but rather seeks to first reveal each child’s personal point of power, then develop it, before offering supporting subjects to widen the reach and stretch every pupil. A personal Programme is the right of every student and the concept of a national Curriculum (with ever changing goal posts) is simply out of date.
People Before Profit
I don’t care how ‘left-wing’ this may sound – it is something I have always believed in. It is the rise of unfettered Capitalism which has created the society we inhabit today. With its judgements on peoples worth dependent mainly on your income scale and job title.
This model give no value to mothers (or fathers) raising their own children; it gives little to no value to low-income professions or unskilled professions (and I ask you “Where would we be without the Bin Man, eh?) If you choose to follow a ‘calling’ such as Nursing or Teaching – you are expected to ‘put up with’ an inordinate amount of pressure and expectations; to deal with life and death – or lifetime affecting situations yet be pilloried across the media if you so much as whimper about your workload, pay or conditions.
In fact this model is highly sexist, giving most preferences to Males, or Male-Dominated Professions, and those that make high profits for shareholders – the Angels of Commerce. which brings me to the next point…
Feminine Work Principles
Rather than the linear, fast-paced, ever increasing, never failing, bullshit, ego -led system we are currently saddled with; I propose a more feminine system of work within life. A system which incorporates flow, which allows for expansion and reduction, a system which actively encourages the individual to take full autonomy for their tasks, and asks that they work to their fullest potential yet does not penalise for lacking skills or talents. Imagine a world where you first discover your innate talents, then your general tendencies and are mentored to become as good as you can be. Think about the world of work and earning your living – where everyone offers their skill set and finds the best project or environment in which to flourish. A world in which lifelong learning is a given, education is freely available and community based.
I picture a world where raising a family is given as much kudos as running a ‘6 figure business’ and health is paramount to all, and personal wellness is the prerogative of the many not simply the few. Where artists are encouraged and scientists supported; a place where MONEY is not king, people are. As John Lennon so succinctly put it
You may call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one
So this is my first list – my personal manifesto, if you like. I’m sure it will grow in time, but for now, please comment below and let me know your thoughts. Have you got a better idea? If so I’d love to hear it.
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