We can be change makers if we recognise our differences, says Grandad Ron

Too much ‘me, me, me’ is making the world a worse place, with people living in their own opinionated bubble, says Grandad Ron to his son Ollie, as they watch another disaster unfold on the TV.

The rolling news flickered across the screen, retelling, with the same footage, the story it had been telling all day. Another terrorist attack. The number who’d died. The predictable reactions of anyone who’d stand in front of a camera and tell their story. Politicians saying it must never happen again; their words never translated into action.

Grandad Ron got up and turned off the TV. “The trouble is,” he said, “that millions of people have become radicalised in their own way. They are so passionate about what they believe that the passion blots put the thought that someone else is entitled to a contrary opinion. What’s missing is compromise, compassion, and the notion that your belief may be as wrong as the others person’s; that the truth being ignored somewhere in the middle.

World is too polaraised
“The world is too polarised. Look at the problems facing the UK today. Brexit, Scots independence. General election. They’ve all split the nation down the middle, and the politicians’ response is just the same. Polarised and acting independently. It’s the same with ‘terror’ attacks. It’s high time politicians on all sides recognised that these things are bigger than they are, and there should be a joint response. Strength in numbers. United we stand, divided, well…,” he tailed off, shrugging.

How about some harmony?
Ollie filled the conversational gap. “I suppose if politicians did a bit of proper leadership it might start to bridge the gaps that divide us. Unity at the top could even lead to harmony elsewhere.”

“Quite right, son,” said his dad. “They might start with Brexit negotiations, and present a united front to the EU. That’d be a good start, but don’t get me wound up about that.”

Ollie knew his father’s thoughts. He was an advocate of pragmatism and common sense. He played to that now. “That reminds me of what Grandma Lorna always says: ‘Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference’.”

Giving back makes a difference
Ron nodded. “Quite right. That’s why the small things are so important, because that’s where we can make a difference. Look at ExpenseOnDemand giving back initiative,” he said. “Perfect example. A recognition that all of us are better off than someone else, somewhere, and the desire to be a change maker. Surely everyone has the desire to help others? Look at the way children behave. The desire must be born in us, but get squeezed out along the way somehow.

“ExpenseOnDemand recognises a need to help others, and makes all of its customers donors to good causes. Doing that must surely mean that people understand each other’s lives a little better. See life through other’s eyes is the first step to concensus and compromise, and that’s why I think it’s great that customers are helping to support some great charities, who help individuals who would be immeasurably worse off without their fundraising.

“We all live on one planet. The sooner we learn to acknowledge each other, and work together – over everything – the sooner we can make it a better, and safer place for us all to live.”

Picture: Gonzalez Sanchez | Dreamstime