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  • Writer's pictureLiza Stirlinglass

Values in a time of Crisis - Confessions of a Yeller.

The bumpy road of diplomacy, avarice and being right was central to all governments in the UK, on the Island of Ireland, and Israel this past week. I found myself yelling and being less than gracious in my language on a number of occasions as I cooked, radio tuned into the news and heard the rows third hand.

I think the most upsetting phrase for me was "Vaccine War." It made me wonder about the values of whoever turned that phrase. Was it to attract readers and listeners or was it to pump up the already selfishly driven and escalating conflicts? Either way the use of the word war was, in my opinion, both dangerous and perverse, and from the safety of my kitchen and living room, I delivered my "work together" message loudly and clearly.

At sixty three I have lived through times of crisis, usually from afar, and I realize only too well how fortunate I am. My father once said that the genes of speaking out and speaking up came from my paternal side, rumour has it I am a descendant of #GiuseppeMazzini. And whether that is folklore or fact I have had from a young age a genuine compulsion to stand up for social justice and promote equality and fairness.

However, that does not excuse the yell I barked at a young man in the petrol station, mask less who beckoned me forward as he chased his young daughter around the shop. "Please just leave, or put on a mask," I vented without compassion from behind my mask, not considering what walking in his shoes might look like.

Another rather disturbing interview on #Radio4 #Sunday with a preacher, taking the government of Scotland to court due to places of worship (and he only mentioned churches) being closed also had me yelling "How stupid are you!"

And of course there were the racially motivated comments when I criticized the tribal voices harassing #MarcusRashford. I was verbally being racist against racists.

My strongly worded reactions this week made me realise I needed to do some soul searching about my own values. The ones about trying to listen, not judge, ooh and being empathetic. So with a self score of fail, next week I am hoping to do better. Open my ears and listen, be kinder, less quick to judge and above all patient.


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