Despite my initial plan to write here regularly, life has been insanely busy and the priorities would not let me sit down and write something ‘just for pleasure’. Since I last wrote, I went to 11 concerts in 3 countries and gave one concert myself (yes that’s the ratio at the moment!), met up with over 30 people (old friends and new ones), put some bowings on new parts, had sleepless nights over my future (What am I going to do? What if…?), read David Daniels’ ‘orchestral music’ back to back and yes, voted.
Everyone has been talking about the one thing and I, not being very political or eloquent, didn’t know what to say. But it actually shocked me a lot, just like everyone around me, and I have been thinking, not only about my nearest future but the times we all live in. And for myself I came to one conclusion, and this I have actually been thinking for a while.
I know that I have been very privileged. I had enough to eat and I was safe, I was loved with love perfect or not, and I got a very good education, certainly over the average. Then I went straight into a job from school and my career has been exciting and fulfilling. I saw the world, and I had ample opportunities to immerse myself in different cultures. And I have wonderful friends, many of whom share these life experiences. I am not talking about a happily-ever-after life with nothing left wanting, I know of so many tragedies in lives of people close to me. And yet I do think that a lot of ‘my’ people still have been privileged. And being surrounded with those wonderful people, perhaps I got used to taking certain things for granted.
What do I see these days? I see that many people are very unhappy and feel deprived. A few days ago I woke up to see that more clearly than ever. Whom they blame rightly or wrongly, is it not…secondary to the problem? I happened to buy the big issue today and one reader from Galashiels(it’s a Scottish town) sent in ‘why I voted Leave’. I am not arguing for or against his comment, it’s not my place. But what he said made me think. He said the EU is ‘a tool of neoliberal capitalism with 24-hour access for big business and no access for citizens’. I passionately do not agree with his statement. But having learned a thing or two about neoliberalism recently at George Monbiot’s talk, I wondered. I wondered what made this reader and so many other people think like that. If a vote for leave was the legitimate consequence of his statement is another matter.
The world has never been fair, that’s clear to me. But perhaps the gaps are actually getting bigger. Or perhaps the gaps were always big and I have just been ignorant. Either way, now that I woke up and saw the gaps, which are more like abysses, I know one thing. I want to do what I can do to get people just a little bit closer. I do not want to live just for myself anymore. I want to share whatever and however little I have. And I want to give back, this I have been thinking for the last few months. Because life (that is the people around me, the time and place and ‘system’ I was born into, the skin I live in, everything that happened to me…) has given me so much and I have come so far that I can actually start looking back. And soon reaching a certain age, it’s time for me to start giving back, not because I arrived already or have much, but because that’s what one should always do. I want to do something for other people, give a little bit back of the generous support I got, and it really should be more than those tiny donations I make and never think much about.
In the next days I’ll be thinking about ways of giving back.