I began this blog by thinking I would write about that visit to the UK on Friday. You know the one I mean.
The visit which is the subject of widespread protests in this country, when ordinary British citizens take a stand against divisive rhetoric, misogyny, demonisation of immigrants and refusal to take climate change seriously.
But as I started to write, I changed my mind. I decided that this went far deeper.
For me, this was a deeply personal decision to voice out my thoughts and take my own stand, in my own way, about the loss of global consensus on what we mean by ‘rights’, civil liberties, mutual accountability and respect for human dignity.
Rights and consensus that were achieved by hard working women and men through the decades, from the suffragettes through civil rights movements to international agreements and institutions meant to safeguard human rights.
As I exercise what remains of those hard-won freedoms, my stand is to demonstrate resistance against the erosion of those rights. To be bold and brave. To place my voice on the table of conversation.
We must fight radically and take a stand for our common humanity.
This weekend, resistance must mean taking a stand for what we believe in. Stretching above our political divisions – deep divisions, worsening divisions, painful divisions. We must fight radically and take a stand for our common humanity.
It matters, how we all respond as global citizens, as British citizens and as individuals, to hatred, division and angry rhetoric. These are tests of our personal and political integrity and our maturity.
There is no strength in hate... There is so much greater strength in love and hope.
We can respond with the sort of strength that flows from faith, hope, and humanity. It is a power that can be unleashed when people come together in compassion and commitment.
You find it in the tireless work of environmentalists around the world seeking to hold together agreements to save our planet. And in the unstinting efforts of tax justice campaigners to reform the unfair, secretive systems that cost developing nations billions of dollars a year.
You witness strength among the grassroots women activists building sustainable futures for their families and communities. And in the incredible bravery of the Thai and international rescue divers who brought out 12 young footballers and their coach, after 17 days trapped in a cave.
It matters, how we all respond as global citizens, as British citizens and as individuals, to hatred, division and angry rhetoric.
The rescue has been quite an event this week. The whole world felt as one, watching with bated, agonised breath, daring to continue hoping as the drama unfolded. To quote the Royal Thai Navy Seals official statement after the rescue: ‘We don’t know if this is a miracle, or science or what…’
For me, it was proof of what can happen when you have a combination of good people, belief in change - even seemingly impossible change – and a massive physical challenge. That’s strength. Real strength. The type of strength which can move mountains.
You see, there is no strength in hate. Shout as loud as you like. I’m not listening. And I’m not going to give hatred the satisfaction of amplification.
That’s why I have decided that for me this weekend is not about who is visiting. It is about us – who we are.
There is so much greater strength in love and hope. Today we must stand together and know that our love - our united belief in the common goal of humanity and a better, more just world for all - will prevail.