The shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.
The shooting, in the UK, of MP Jo Cox.
The divisive, hostile language of debate in the run up to the referendum on whether Britain remains as a member of the EU.
It’s all too easy to look around and think “there can’t be any kind of ‘charge’ here.” It’s easy to become overwhelmed, exhausted, to believe that nothing good can ever come from any of this.
I’ve been finding it hard to write, recently – I’ve been dealing with a mental health flare that the shootings in Orlando and the shooting of Jo Cox haven’t helped. I’ve been finding it hard to want to carry on.
I can’t yet manage a long, elaborate essay, but I think I can manage taking things piece by piece.
The Orlando shootings have stirred up the LGBTQ community against the gun lobby in America. The same community that brought about a societal shift that many at the time would have said was impossible. The same community that, facing death on a daily basis, have lost their fear of “things not working out.” They’ll take the risk that they can’t defeat the gun lobby, because it’s less than the risks. they’re already facing. If the gun lobby can be wounded by Orlando, even, then there is a charge attached to its negativity. Something good will come from it. If they can be shut down entirely – well, then, negativity will have been the charge that makes history.
The shooting of MP Jo Cox made both sides of the “Brexit/Bremain” debate stop and think about the language they were using, the way they were conducting their campaigns. They ceased campaigning following the shooting, which gave members of the public a chance to realise how divisive and childish the campaigns had been to date. If a paradigm shift in the way Britain conducts itself politically comes from the death of Jo Cox, then there is a charge attached to that negativity, a charge that will move us forward to a place of lasting good.
There are a lot of thorns at the moment, and we will, inevitably, be hurt by them – but that should never stop us reaching through them, and finding the light in the darkness, the charge in the negativity.