Hi, it’s me. The person who responded to the president elect of the United States of America with a tweet about the importance of climate change. He hadn’t asked my opinion. He had just accidentally responded to a tweet that accidentally mentioned me so I accidentally ended up being thrown into the limelight for a short while.
My response though was deliberate.
Given an opportunity to speak – either by accident or on purpose – I will
almost always give my considered opinion.
I think it is important to do that.
You see, the war in Yugoslavia is not the only thing that has made me realise that there is no guarantee that everything will be OK.
Four years after we moved back to the UK from Yugoslavia and we were happily cruising our new plan – the unplanned plan – my father died suddenly of a heart attack. No high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, just BOOM one minute he is there and the next minute he is gone.
I’m lucky. I have a happy family, full of love. We are resilient. We are OK.
My family is full of love. We have worked hard at being OK.
Many people interpreted my second tweet – the war one – as being about BREXIT. It sort of was. But it also wasn’t. It was about my experience of life. A life that has taught me that with all the best intentions and hard work and love and laughter and effort things are sometimes not OK. Sometimes things are awful.
The referendum result reminded me of that. Like a punch to the gut.
Like every thinking person I am terrified by what climate change will bring; what it will do to society, to the lives of the people I love, you love, and the people that we don’t yet know we love. Like many people I live with that terror and do the work that I can.
Like every single other person on the planet I am living through the pandemic. It’s pretty awful, isn’t it? I still laugh and have fun and work and play with my child and tell my husband there is nobody in the world I would rather live through a pandemic with but still. We work hard at being OK.
My cousin died from COVID. He was 56. He was my friend. We talked often. I miss him. He tried hard to be OK.
And this is where I am right now. I read the news about COVID, about the climate, about poverty, about racism, about suffering, about death, about hunger. Everything is not OK.
Politics is not a dirty word. Politics is our very means of survival. Politics is life and death.
We can’t leave being OK to chance. In my experience chances are that won’t work.