I vote for compassion

Polling place
Polling place

This afternoon I exercised my democratic right to vote; the first time I’ve voted in St Andrews since I was a student here in the early 90s.

I pray that the country votes with compassion, for a fairer future, to include and enable more people within society.

Austerity simply doesn’t work. It has been cruel, particularly on those who are impoverished or disabled.

I guess a lot of it comes down to what you see the role of government being. For me, it’s not to punish those less fortunate than ourselves; it’s not to normalise poverty and deprivation; it’s not to make the country a less secure place (in all meanings of the word); and it’s not to make the wealthiest few percent of the population even richer, which is what has happened under the Conservative government.

It is the task of the strong to lift up the weak, not crush them.

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world just now, a lot of fear, a lot of parochialism. We live now in a world that is more connected than it has ever been. I can communicate in real-time with people on the other side of the planet. Through social media I can find out the news, as it is happening, hundreds and thousands of miles away, before the mainstream media channels have distilled it, filtered it, and reflected it.

That we are so connected presents new challenges and new opportunities.

As a society, I would like us to embrace these opportunities—find ways for us to work together and collaborate on this tiny planet of ours, not close our metaphorical doors, pull up the drawbridge and believe that we have everything we need to look after ourselves, thank you very much. We don’t. We are connected. That’s one reason that I still feel so upset about Brexit—it is shortsighted, it is an insular approach, and a complete and utter waste of time and money.

Anyway… I voted. I didn’t have the opportunity to to write anything more than an X. I just have to wait in hope, and trust in the wisdom of crowds.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 47 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Scrum master at Vision Ltd, Dundee. Latterly, web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and former warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall. Enneagram type FOUR and introvert, I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, write, draw and laugh… a lot.

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