Brexit, Terrorism & Chilcot: An open letter to my kids

Dear L, M & A

Recent events have left me sad and speechless. Now that I’ve started to digest what’s happened, there are a few things I wanted to share with you. I’m sure in time, more will be added to the list, but for now, here goes:

#MAKESUREYOUVOTE

One day you will be old enough to vote. I hope that when the time comes, you’ll be living in a democracy. Make sure that you do vote because women have fought against the odds to do so. It’s your chance to make change happen. And if, on the off chance you are asked to vote on a VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE, make sure you vote intelligently and are not swayed by cheap and shameful propaganda. Democracy is great, but not when it’s made into a joke by people who voted for something thinking IT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.

Austria – your other home country – is another example of a democracy turned into a laughing stock – a presidential result overturned due to a technical breach. Why couldn’t the Austrians get it right in the first place? While we’re on the topic, never vote for someone like Norbert who espouses some of the same ideals as a moustachioed man called Adolf. And while we’re on the subject of names, there’s a guy called Donald. Not the duck. Unbelievably, Donald’s star has risen high in American politics. In the US, more women than men vote. Let’s hope they rally round a woman named Hilary. Even though many dislike her, if she does win the US presidential election, she’d be the first female president of the USA. And that would be quite cool.

#NEVERTRUSTAPOLITICIAN

I’m sure all politicians start off well-meaning, but then ambition, lobbying groups, the fear of losing power, or the belief that they are guided by some sort of divine right to intervene in a CERTAIN GEO-POLITICAL SITUATION without consideration of the consequences, all get in the way and they behave like you and your friends in the playground. Sometimes, they end up leading their countries to the brink only to pootle off after they’ve made a massive cock-up of everything. Or, on other occasions, even when they have massively cocked-up and everyone wants them out, they may hang around in denial (and continue to deny any wrong-doing until the day they die.) If politicians behave like that, just think what they’re like as a partner/spouse. And if you do end up sharing your life with one, there’s a chance you’ll end up like Lady Macbeth. Also – definitely do not go into politics. Very few politicians make history for the right reason.

So you’re probably asking why you should bother voting if all politicians or governments just end up a disappointment? My point is, just remember you have a voice and if you’re not happy, then use it. Go on demonstrations, sign petitions, make sure your voice is heard and when the time comes to vote again, make sure you do. And sometimes, there will be things you want to happen that a government you elected puts in place. Now that’s something worth clinging onto.

#THEWORLD’SYOUROYSTER

You are part Austrian, British, German, Indian, Pakistani. But your identity shouldn’t be limited to those nations. You are a citizen of the world. Embrace different cultures and identities. If you want to live in Bora Bora, then go for it. If you want to have a sex change, that’s your prerogative and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

When the economy goes south, people have a tendency to become insular, start to blame others for their own problems, marginalising people from different backgrounds. I hope you never turn inwards. If you do, then your papa and I may as well shoot ourselves because we will have failed you as parents.

 #THE*T*-WORD

I’m afraid people will continue to do the most horrific things in the name of God. Such people are (1) delusional, (2) stupid and (3) psychopaths, and are a gross insult to the religion they claim to represent.

Just make sure you keep yourself safe and never ever let yourself be brainwashed by someone saying they can make your life better if you hang out with them. Faith is deeply personal. Don’t be browbeaten by people telling you who or what to believe in. And if you’re lost or angry at the world, come and talk to us rather than a firebrand preacher waving a religious text in your face.

#ICELAND

 

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Iceland’s football team offered a ray of hope in a tournament where once again, England’s overpaid peacocks floundered. At times, mixing the little that you have with a large dose of belief can take you very far.

That’s all for now.

Lots of love

Mama