Monday 2 January 2012
The Orientation of the Site in 2012
I’ve now been running my website for 8 months. During that time more than 6,000 people have visited the site, with 40% of you returning! Thank you for your interest and support! And all best wishes for 2012.
I want to take a few seconds to update you on the orientation of the site and my direction of travel. I hope it is not quite like the one on the left!
In addition to publishing all things to do with insight & training, I am committed to including perspectives on our society as my concern about the split between haves and have-nots grows. Unlike our leaders, I am convinced that the riots were triggered in emulation of the disregard for honesty modeled by our leaders and the selfishness demonstrated by some of the most wealthy people in our community. Why would you not think it was OK to help yourself with those role models? Helping yourself without considering others was the defining action of the riot days.
In my forthcoming post, quoting from Alexis de Toqueville, I will put forward a pragmatic case for the sharing of proserity – a case based in ‘self interest, properly understood’ – de Toqueville’s canny summary of the vitality of 19th Century America.
Rather than pursuing a partisan agenda or a strong political allegiance, I will try to be informed by the best empirical evidence in making my comments. I don’t think that New Labour is any better than the Conservatives at representing ordinary working people. Both parties have a complete absence of leaders and representatives from the working class or similar groups. All four of their leading figures read PPE at Oxford, three out of the four making their way there from private schools.
As far as I can tell none of them have ever faced the kind of struggle that comes with low educational attainment and lack of resources or support. It must be doubtful that any of them have empathy for the underprivileged, though they may have sympathy – not at all the same thing.
Recently it has fallen to the Archbishop of Canterbury to remind us to support the young, to care about others, to do unto them as we would be done to…I do not often find myself in agreement with the leaders of organized religion, but on this occasion I lift my hat off to Dr Rowan Williams.
The point of his message is critical at this time. The empirical research shows that doing things for others makes you happier than indulging yourself. Putting others first is the way to feel better!
But there is another point that the site wishes to draw attention to – that if you are not involved in politics and shaping your community, then others will shape it for you – and while things go well that may not matter. In such times it is easy to shrug and dismiss inequality of opportunity as ‘the way of the world’. Should misfortune strike though, you may have a different experience. When our son was ill we struggled for nearly a year to find someone to offer us hope and direction. Those were lonely days. Being put on a waiting list as your four year old loses the ability to speak was an experience I would not wish on anybody. During these times relationships and our ability to influence events were crucial!
Of course, I wish good fortune to you all in 2012. I hope from the bottom of my heart that you thrive and grow this year. As you do so, remember to reach out to the less fortunate whenever you can. The wind can change!
Posted by roy at 9:34 am. No comments
Qualitative work was founded on the idea of making contact with people in greater depth. This website contains ideas, tips and techniques on how to do that well. It also contains things that I feel passionately about which affect our daily lives!
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