I stepped out of the house and closed the door behind me, just as Andrew left the bus. It’d been a while since I’d seen him, he looked perplexed.
Good morning Andrew, Good to see you, how are you? I called out.
Andrew offered a smile and an outstretched hand as I approached. “Well, that’s a greeting, good to see you also Charlie …”
We stood for a few minutes, chatting together before we began the short walk toward the local store. Andrew had a lot on his mind, not least neighbours who were thinking of sub-dividing land adjacent to his home. He was a little flustered because no one was listening to his protests, a feeling that his opinion was not important.
I wished I could have been able to help my friend. His situation looked to be unsettling him. I suggested that apart from approaching local authorities, perhaps having a further conversation with his neighbour may help …
We’ve all experienced similar situations, haven’t we? Do we push to have our voices heard, or accept the status quo?
Andrew and I parted ways as we reached the store. I picked up what I needed and went to pay the cashier. With my receipt, came a leaflet into the palm of my hand.
‘Thank you for the business Charlie, don’t forget to vote, your participation matters.‘
It seems the local ‘convenience’ was under threat of closure and the leaflet was asking for my views.
Suddenly, I found myself standing in Andrew’s shoes. The actions of others were threatening to significantly change my own lifestyle.
Of couse I did as asked and voted to uphold our community hub, the only one of its kind for several miles. I also viewed plans for the proposed redevelopment, I even called the local authority.
It wasn’t long when I soon realised what I was doing wasn’t going to be enough. My protests weren’t be heard through my voice alone. Not until I rallied friends, neighbours, community groups, local businesses …
Leverage. We’re able to achieve much more when we share our stories. We lighten the load just by asking and it also show’s that we mean business. Seeking support can be empowering.
Just now though, outside of my own personal concerns, there are plenty of issues the greater global community is looking to achieve. Each of us can do so much more through accountability and cooperation.
If we only ask.