Connection, Leadership, Learning, Organisational Change, Reflecting

After the Laundry, The Ecstacy?


I don’t know where to begin.

this is not a “normal” fuchsia blue blog post – It feels more personal.

When you wake up and hear something that you cannot compute, mentally or physically… The UK is leaving the EU. We are choosing to leave our rather odd home for 43 years, presumably to downsize…
My first response was kind of horrified. No no no no.. what? What? I mean… What? And then I was so angry I could spit. Deep visceral fury at the TV. At authority. At those who voted to Leave –I’m muttering about idiots, biggots, using delicious swear words, harsh and blue with venom injected right into them … you name it, it came. And the worry – my business. The markets tumbling dramatically…My precious fuchsiablue. Wee and wily, not globally important, but the thing that sustains me and folk I love and cherish. Now under threat through nothing I have done…. It left me livid, speechless and confused.
And the white male voices given microphones, feeling my own prejudice and bigotry run free… knowing I’m not immune from looking at another and wishing them elsewhere…..
My faith in humanity leaking away..
My urge to run home, North, where social justice and a less bitterly phobic angry narrative seemed to run.
My need to talk to others.. to sense make.. help me. Help me sense make?
A sense of powerlessness and redundancy…. I want to take my teddy and go off in a huff.
How confusing. The day before I’d blogged about love. Where was mine? Where was my compassion? My generosity?

Then last night I went back to the After the Ecstasy, the Laundry blog post I wrote in the aftermath of the Scottish Independence Vote. The vote had gone the way I expected. I wasn’t in shock. I was working from a more calm, rational place. What I said then, I hold to now.

Today feels different. Today I’m moving away from the personal affront, getting over myself and looking at what happened in a different way.

I think the vote to leave was inevitable, in many ways. I think people who have been disaffected, who have not been heard, represented, cared for, listened to and spoken for get really tired of being in that place – or really pissed off about it. I think there are amazing MPs and local authority folk who try to get them heard. I think there has been a sneering arrogance at the highest eschelons of politics for too long. I think humbleness, humanity and the notion of being a Public Servant has been too far away from the thinking and the actions of those who are more concerned about to leaving a personal legacy.

I think the parallels with some of what happens in Corporate / big organisational life are painful.

I think it is a case study in the need for diversity and inclusion in thinking and action. I think it’s been missing for too long. I think the hate-filled bile that I occasionally heard was the existing power system setting itself up to reject that diversity and inclusion. Diversity would challenge the power status quo. The power status quo REALLY likes things as they are. Diversity needs to be labelled as “bad scary threat”. .. but the paradox is that power had to align itself to the powerless to get the job done.. and now of course, the powerless have more of a voice and …oh.. that’s a challenge to the Status quo….
Yup.. we are about to live in even more interesting times.

I’ve lived in interesting times before in my life. What I learned was a few things:
No sudden moves. When the world around you appears to tilt on its axis, inaction is often the best course of action. Go slowly. Wait and watch. Think and reflect. Do bits of stuff and see what happens, but don’t make Big Plans and Try to Make Stuff Happen. That’s not how it works. Life is a series of conversations and unfolding circumstance. The recovery after the big stuff tends not to happen fast. Go with that.

If you want to alter what’s happening “Out There”, Start Here. With yourself. First. Work on your own responses. Work to be better, kinder, less of a git and encourage others to do so too. The rage and the fury etc? know they are there pay attention to them, and work to do better. And I mean that – pay attention to the bad stuff.. don’t’ brush over it like an inconvenience – That’s part of what just happened here. It leads to long-term disaffection and disconnect.

Don’t walk away. Stay with the situation, even when it gets tough. Put folk around you that remind you of the daftness of any given situation. Have a place to rage or cry or bang the table… then get up and keep going… contribute as well as you can to change, to the world you want.. that stuff.

And look after yourself. This referendum stuff has been bruising…. If you are bruised, you need salve, rest and a lot of fresh air… go do that, rather than raging at the telly.

I don’t know how this goes. But I know I need to work with what comes.
Think I found some of my love.
Interested in where you are at. x

9 thoughts on “After the Laundry, The Ecstacy?”

  1. It is a bit hard to imagine how the Brexit vote result must feel from here on the other side of the pond, even though we do have some politicians who talk of one or another State (usually Texas) leaving our Union. What you say about moving slowly and thoughtfully in times of upheaval is so true. I think it may be a lot to ask of a species that has spent perhaps 100,000 years or more living in small family groups and bands of hunter gatherers where every face was known life-long and strangers rarely met, to think of themselves as citizens of a globalized world after only a few tens of centuries of urban civilization. Tribalism and xenophobia are so much easier. All over, it seems these days that the leaders and elites forget they are handling stinging insects and frightened critters that bite when handled roughly. I come back to the advice that it is best to do good in minute particulars rather than grand designs and quick fixes on large scale. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I am nowhere near love right now. Right now I’m in rage. I accept that and I’m working in that system to help get myself through it. When love comes, and I know it will, I will have the strength to be the best I can and to inspire others of the same.

  3. I am horrified at the reports of abuse on our streets. I am hopeful that things have gotten worse before they get better. I can understand votes to leave and to stay. Not all leave voters are racist or bigots. Not all remain voters are London based young white middle class. I struggle to understand how there continues to be no consequences for lies in leadership. I am sad that the media continue to fuel myth making by using certain kinds of people as entertainment. It reminds me of the auditions to Simon Cowell formatted programming. I’m thinking about a new dichotomy of “kind” or “arsehole”. It is a turbulent time. I tell myself is a time for personal leadership. For walking our own talk. For working generously with what is within our own control. One step after the other.

  4. I found your post via Bobs reblogging of it, and I’m SO HAPPY I DID! Thank you for your evenness of perspective and the way you’ve examined what’s important in moving forward. You seem like an intelligent, well-rounded human, and I’m SO pleased to read something rational about the big ‘NOW what?!’

  5. Wow! So glad I found this! Some powerful insights into what’s happening way over there… and horrifyingly likely that we might be facing something very similar. The world is in a very strange place right now…. it is sobering. Thanks for adding clarity and light.

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