Not been the easiest day so far. I was digesting my breakfast with the news of the terrorist atrocity in Manchester this morning. I can assure you I can normally digest food without too much trouble, today it took a lot longer. The shame I feel for the actions of a depraved, evil few in this world do not compare to the thoughts and grief of those who perished last night. How can we go about our everyday lives?
Because that’s what we do. All of us. We stand united against malevolent individuals who want to wreck what we stand for. Very distracted, I had to click into gear for a local mental health event this morning and afternoon. Not easy by any stretch of the imagination.
The goodness of the human spirit was there for all to see this morning. A group of us set up table tops where our company, amongst others, sold their wares and told the visiting numbers how the local area is dealing with mental illness.
There were numerous guest speakers, one in particular, held the audience in thrall for 15 wonderful minutes. She is one of my colleagues, we do peer support together, we go to music bingo together, we laugh together and we are great buddies.
She spoke about peer support and her recovery journey. A word to the wise; she hadn’t much experience of public speaking and from my own bitter experience, the word daunting came to mind. She had the words written out on a scrap of paper.
What happened next was simply wonderful and restored some faith in the human race. My colleague was magnificent and drew great applause and admiration from the floor. She ran outside and bawled like a baby, with good reason. All the problems, all the crap she has had to deal with, came to the surface in that one moment. Those fifteen minutes were utterly, utterly joyous and priceless. And for someone who wasn’t looking forward to speaking, she couldn’t have done it any better or with more realism. Also she carried it off with a great deal of style.
The rest of the session was spent listening to other like minded people. We also managed to get four more people to come along to our peer support group on a Thursday. That’s the power of word of mouth. That’s the power of advertising our skills and abilities.
The last few paragraphs I’ve just written illustrate that the world can be a great place, with great values and great people. The things we enjoy and love doing, the minority want to destroy and stamp out. To divide and rule, to set communities against each other. They wouldn’t have dared to try to ruin the morning I’ve just had. That, my friends, is how we, as humans, carry on. In the face of real adversity, we plough on, bettering ourselves and making other lives worthwhile. I can’t think of a better way to finish a blog than that.
Allen Brooks xx