I shall preface my reply with 'I am not really sure what the Big Society actually means' as I can't clearly see the thinking and strategy behind it or the process for it to unfold. Undoubtedly some change will occur but will it be the profound change society needs?At the moment I doubt it as it seems to me the Government is doing contradictory things eg the forthcoming economic policy doesn't seem to support achievement of BS as it seems it will throw more people back into poverty and struggle which in my experience causes people to go into fight/ flight mode rather than community et al.
My personal learnings, from life and the work I do with organisations and individuals, continually show me that what really matters in life is having the means to live a well life with relationships, community and the ability to thrive/ achieve/ be creative/ grow one's spirit.
If the BS can support achievement of that for everyone that I am all for it but I think we need changes in the financial system first. Whilst we still have the paradigm that money and wealth is prime and men (I am not anti-men it's just that their paradigm's tend to be different to most women's) have the power I feel it will be extremely difficult to achieve the BS.
Ah yes . Of course what I have presented so far is rather simplistic. We then get into Skillful means. Of course there must be ways, even rules for boundaries and successful communal living or societal living. The Buddha was very aware of this when it came to the Community of Monks and Nuns. You may remember that in the Lotus Sutra the Buddha uses Skillful means . The story of the father telling his sons about the wonderful chariots outside of the burning house that they should come out to see and play with. . He uses ideas in a compassionate way in order to help people. However ultimately once these ideas or means have been made use of they can be discarded. My understanding of this is that still all ideas or views are temporary and situational. There may not be a time limit on this, but the clinging or grasping is deeper in ones mind. I go back to ideas of 'ultimate' and 'the only way' that some find impossible to hold lightly. Its the holding lightly with all these things which the Buddha suggests can be developed. we seem to have jumped in to the real heart and subtle aspect of Buddhism here. :-)
Yes You are right, I have heard that before...but its very important point. Its not about having ideas its about the clinging to those ideas. Ideas of ultimate truth for example. THE only way. so not clinging to any ideas or any views is what the Buddha advocated. To see views just as views. Views that change, develop, degrade whatever.
Yes absolutely. This is the purpose of Buddhism. The mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. The 4th noble truth is Nirodha ( Nirvana) Liberation from craving and grasping. Particularly the holding on to the idea of a permanent, unchanging self. Or indeed holding on to any ideas of permanence. Its that simple !!! Ha ha!
Thank you for your warm welcome. You only have a tiny peek at my life story - there is much more to tell. I have other profiles in different places, including LinkedIn, from which I could add more if necessary. It's very hard to put a whole life into a nutshell!
I am fascinated by your Mock Cabinet Project - I wonder what commitment is expected? I'm living in Scotland at the moment but expecting to move back down South within a few months (hopefully) to be near to my family. I will be in or around London on 10th July, however, as I'm singing in the Royal Albert Hall on 11th!
I'll email to you the Application Form anyway and take it from there.
Thank you for your kind welcome Indra. I would be very happy toi meet up with you to discuss your proposed game - love the idea of Mock Cabinets! I can be in London on 19th, 20th or 21st May if you are free.
I am not and have never been a full-time mother in the sense of giving up work for childcare. I didn't have choice as we needed the money. I had 6 days off when my first child was born and went back part-time .......but took her to work with
me for the first 3 months! For me the challenge was to balance the need to advance my career and make a living with the need to care for my kids. Later on I ran my business from home which made the juggling easier. The political issue for me was that when they were babies I had to work twice as hard as before to
prove that motherhood hadn't affected my work. Only by working for myself was I able to combine a full-time business as a solicitor with attending all school plays sports days etc without detriment to me or the family. O think that is the reason so
many small businesses are run by women!
Hi Indra - thanks for approving me to join. I am slightly shocked that it is unusual for someone interested in politics to say that their children are their priority, most mothers I know, however high-powered their career, would say the same! I see no conflict between the two, indeed a better life for my children, and more equality for my very clever and able daughter, is a very good reason (but definitely not the only one) to be interested in politics. I am not based in London any more (escaped to the Lake District 20 years ago) but visit on business about every 6 weeks, so would be able to take part in events in London if they coincide with my business trips. I hope the campaign can perhaps make a difference in this election - or the election make a difference to the campaign?
Thanks for your challenging welcome! (I'm not sure if my perspective on balanced leadership as father is necessarily different from my, or any other person's, perspective as child, parent, partner or co-worker; but I will give it some thought!)
I write Quaequam Blog! (as well as the occasional article for the Guardian's Comment is Free), I work for Unlock Democracy and I am an executive member of the Social Liberal Forum. I've now added an RSS feed to my profile.