Looking Forward: Time for a Mindset Reset

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Over the last few months Britain seems to have come a cropper. This great nation of ours has got itself into binds; tangled tensions of apparently irreversible decisions: Brexit, we are told, will bring about our destitution. The NHS is on the brink of collapse through financial stresses and doctors’ exhaustion, politics is the stomping ground of the Personally Ambitious and the Hypocritical, and we are all panicked about the notion of our erstwhile ally being run by a satsuma with a penchant for a patronising finger gesture. All in all, the last two months have been stressful.

And, OH, how we have bemoaned it! The pub, the staff room, the corner shop – all have been overridden with lamentations from the Great British Public, peppered with wailing questions of ‘how we shall COPE’ in the post Brexit landscape. Now, I voted Remain with all my heart and in no way do I celebrate the decision that was made, yet this negativity irks me. Yes, the decision is not what we wanted, but if our to
ne of voice is not helpful, our mentality – even if fitting – will not aid progress.

Enter Hermione Granger and That Feminist With The Big Hair – Emma Watson’s clip from ‘Our Shared Shelf’ sees her talking to Caitlin Moran over a cuppa.  The unkempt hair and gaudy eye make-up of this home-schooled hero are eclipsed by her eloquent answers and sensitive suggestions regarding feminism, the political landscape, and social media, all of which are spat out at speed; all Watson can do is ‘yes’, ‘uh-ha’ and gesticulate along in support.

Moran’s comments regarding our general national tone ring particularly true for me:

“We are choosing whether we are going to be pessimistic or optimistic about the future… if we all thought that things were going to get better then they would get better.”

We must focus. Even though we are disappointed with the result of the referendum, we must look forward. No good will come from ruminating over the decisions made, and we must remain focused on how we can create and provide solutions to the situations that we find ourselves in. We must reset our mindsets to focus on what we can do – what way can be found – to begin to move in the right direction through situations that are uncertain; the road as yet unmade.

The mistakes must be reflected upon, granted. The ‘no’ voters must be listened to, their valid concerns for job security and housing and out of touch politicians have to be paid heed to. The role of these politicians must be reset to become once more the elected folk representing the views of those they represent. Local concerns are important, whether they are regarding the path of Crossrail, the fate of dilapidated seaside towns, or planning permissions for a new housing estate. There needs to be a reconnection between the voters and the politicians, who can then connect with other politicians to make change happen for the people, then we might be able to feel as though those people in Westminster are there for the interests of the people rather than attempting to play Machiavellian games for short-lived power stints.

As Brits, we are almost genetically engineered to lean away from any fervour about anything, but I think we should seize this opportunity to start making tangible change to the way our friends, our family, and even ourselves think. It is imperative to have – as Caitlin fervently said – “a diet of hope and faith.” It is time to stop mocking those who prescribe to believe and practise hope, enthusiasm and positivity. The cynics are afraid to try and, I’m a firm believer that if you start thinking that something is possible, it is far easier to take the first step. If we consider it impossible or ‘ne’er to be attempted’ then we are doomed to fail.

I am not a political expert, by any means, and I do not know how we can realise these hopeful changes to British politics. We could martyr Jo Cox and Mo Mowlam as women and MPs who contributed to positive change for constituents that they knew about, loved and cared for, but what good would that really do? I am sure that there are plenty of other stoic, hard-working and conscientious Members who get little of their deserved limelight – such as Stella Creasy’s battles against and victories over destructive payday loan companies in Walthamstow; Simon Kirby securing £480 million for the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton; Melanie Onn’s fight to underpin workers’ rights with the minimum standards set by the EU in her Worker’s Rights (10 Minute Rule) Bill. Let’s showcase the hard work and small victories of brilliant people who rarely get the press time or attention that they deserve. Let’s focus on the positive – on the great things and the optimism – so that we can start gathering constructive momentum for change.

So, let’s reset our thought patterns. Let’s not judge all MPs as one and the same, and let’s look forward – as Leslie Knope would – to a brighter future filled with myriad possibilities.

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