There is no them. Only us.*
So, mid-rant to my friend about Grenfell, my friend told me his dad works for the contractor that installed the cladding, in a senior management capacity.
My friend’s eyes as he told me belayed what this meant for his dad, what it’s like to be on the receiving end of anger and inferred blame for something so terrible, and what that meant to my friend.
It pulled me up short.
In my anger I had lost sight of my belief in the way forward being in more connection, more dialogue, MORE compassion, love and understanding for ALL and with ALL of our brothers and sisters in this wonderful, diverse and imperfectly perfectly beautiful species muddling its way in the cosmos, moment-by-moment, to which we all belong.
Justice and change must happen. And while it is, my proposition is that we are kind to each other in the meantime. There are no winners.
Addendum: after writing this, before sending, myself and members of our FOODBANK: As It Is family found ourselves after our production meeting in Hyde Park singing Jerusalem(!) with a large group of *very* posh folks outside possibly the last real little boozer in Knightsbridge. And sing we did: at the top of our voices, hearts full. Together. After an afternoon of, amongst many other things, expressing our views on the horrific impact of financial inequality and those that would continue to exploit and benefit from that inequality. Bollocks to the old-Etonian overtones and connotations to the choice of song that spontaneously broke out. What was much more important, in my experience of the moment, was that human-to-human, life-to-life contact, connection and expression was made, crossing the divides of class and prejudice. A perhaps unconscious yet profound new understanding reached, the consequential ripples of which, one can only imagine.
*There Is No Them. Only Us. Is the strapline of Foodbank: As It Is. – A play that I am involved in as a member of its collective theatre company.