I can’t help but be political at the moment and this post is inspired by Stella Duffy’s blog, where she challenged people to write their own list of positive things to do in these fast-moving, challenging times.
Here’s mine. It’s in no particular order, just the order ideas occurred to me today.
- Support City of Sanctuary, an organisation opening its arms and offering practical help to refugees and asylum seekers. Lancaster and Morecambe City of Sanctuary is my local one and it is doing incredibly important work.
2. Donate to and publicise Paper Airplanes – an organisation fostering links and relationships between American and Syrian students.
3. Be part of Fun Palaces. Lancaster Fun Palace 2017 is holding a launch meeting on February 9th at 7pm in The Toll House Inn. Everyone welcome! With around 280 Fun Palaces made last year, there is almost certainly one near you to take part in – and if there isn’t, start your own!
4. Take part in the 64 Million Artists creative challenges. The January Challenge is almost over for 2017, but you can still sign up to take part in a challenge a week for the rest of the year. It is empowering and positive to join such a friendly, thoughtful community – and it’s huge fun too!
5. Be political. Be brave. I’m really saying this to myself. I – in company with many, many of us, I suspect – shy away from talking politics publically – even, often, with friends. When things like the Muslim Ban (yes, I know I’m using social media shorthand, but it’s that kind of short post) are occurring, I feel I have to be brave enough to speak out and say that it is wrong. I think if we all do this, in whatever way we feel comfortable (or maybe slightly out of our comfort zones, increasingly outside our “echo chambers”), explaining our views to those who disagree, then an increasingly positive and united society should start to emerge.
6. Take a look at Frack Free Lancs. Speaks for itself.
7. Read – support libraries! – and read books from different cultures. (I am not recommending the books in the previous link, necessarily; I just came across it when pulling this post together and it looked interesting.)
8. Join with like-minded people – online and off. This one links to number 5 as I do think there is strength in numbers and individual confidence can be increased through the support of friends. (We often see this with far-right groups; we need to be more vocal to challenge this.) Tell the stories that are important to you in your own way. I’m hoping to make more work – shows/events – that highlight some of the issues above and am beginning to identify possible collaborators – do get in touch if you have any interest at all in being involved in any way.
9. Smile. Sing. Hope. Look out for beauty everywhere – even on gloomy days.
10. Make your own list. And Do.