I’ve never been an enthusiastic writer. In fact, I’ve always shied away from it. Throughout my adolescence, even feeling the temptation to write, I was crippled with embarrassment in the face of presumed mockery and indifference. Or perhaps that’s just an excuse for leaving university essay deadlines until the last minute.
A lot’s happened in my life over the past few years: a move to London, two jobs, the deaths of loved ones. Simultaneously, I’ve been made increasingly aware of the pernicious and enduring injustices our society is built on and whose survival and prosperity it ensures; whether through the nature of my work or through being an increasingly conscious citizen of the world.
By day – under normal circumstances, anyway, as I’m furloughed – I’m a headhunter to the third sector and civil society more broadly, and specialise in communications, policy, advocacy and campaigns. It’s a job that affords me perhaps undue insight into the inner workings of how change happens, whether that’s in environmental, health, poverty or gender campaigning (or the rest of the plethora of worthy campaigning causes). Simultaneously, it is arms-length insight – conversations happen where my opinions are informed and evolve, yet I am under no illusions as to who is actually making that change happen.
I started a new job in March (and was furloughed 5 weeks later – good timing, I guess). As someone who’s naturally rather vocal in expressing his opinions, I was encouraged both by my new manager and several friends in the third sector to write my thoughts on paper. Perhaps that was a way of telling me to talk less…
So, in the spirit of biting the bullet, here I am, warts and all.
Since I’ve been closely following campaigning, I’ve always been conscious of the power of hope behind making change happen. However, I’ve also observed that without the presence of anger as a starting point, in the face of injustice, such efforts at creating a better world can fizzle out. It’s my belief that the balance of anger and hope can bring about the change needed in the world – that seeing an injustice, whether individual, collective or systemic, firstly inspires frustration. Rather than optimism, which I’ll class as blind faith in the face of reality, we must then prioritise hope, a feeling that based on what we see, on what we experience, we truly believe that we can make a difference, that another future is tangibly possible.
I’ll both be producing my own content and featuring guest content from other commentators. I’ll aim to bring a variety of viewpoints and experiences under the umbrella of progress, equality and justice – and be mindful that everyone, regardless of their job title, their gender, their race, their ethnicity, their sexuality, has something of value and of interest to offer. Comments, criticisms and insights are always welcome!