Wow. Politics. *sigh*
So often over the last few weeks I’ve been left speechless by the people in politics, the media establishments that cover the election, and the culture that surrounds politics.
When I think about what I want a politician to be then more anything I think of a role model. Someone who epitomises how we should act and what our values should be. Honest. Caring. Looking out for others. Respectful.
When I think about the reporting of the election campaign I want to see messages of support and positivity rather than of ripping politicians to shreds, or waiting for them to make the smallest error for the benefit of running a headline story the following day. I want to see interviews where politicians are given the opportunity to say everything they have to say, and have the confidence to be honest, rather than being mocked or interrogated by the hosts.
And imagine if there was a culture where, once the competition was over, politicians pulled together for the good of the country. That there was no between-party, or even in-party, fighting. That we, the people the government served, were respectful and understanding. That the media reported things as they were, unbiasedly, rather than waiting to ruin the career of a politician at the first chance they get.
What kind of messages are these behaviours sending to the youth (and even adults) of today?
What if everyone just slowed down?
What if politicians took some time to really hone into their values and questioned how they wanted to act? Because I’m sure these are not people who would count themselves as “nasty” or “vindictive”. I imagine they all went into politics to make a difference, and yes, the differences they wanted to make may not be the same as the politician next to them, but they should want to work for the greater good and not for their own political careers. Maybe they would spend less time trying to appease others, and more time making a difference. Maybe they would really make a difference.
What if we slowed down and, rather than just branding politicians as people who don’t matter, we reminded ourselves that the people on the television are humans, just like you and me. They’re humans under a huge deal of pressure. They make mistakes. They have emotions and feelings, regrets and wishes too. What if we gave them the space and support to learn from these mistakes, to develop into great politicians based on their experiences, just like we learn from our experiences. Maybe then we would have highly experienced politicians, who had the confidence in themselves, and the support from us, to really contribute.
What if the media slowed down and took time to think about how their headlines affect their readers. What if they thought about how they could make money from writing honest stories, that portrayed politicians as normal people. What if they inspired and set the tone for future generations rather than instilling a culture of criticism, fear and hatred. Maybe then our politicians would feel they could be more honest. Maybe then we would vote based on facts rather than fear that has been instilled in us.
Maybe then we would have politicians and a government that we were proud of, and who we would show as role models to our children and peers.
So…who wants to run mindfulness sessions for Westminster?!