#100GoodThings – Make Humanity Great Again

2016 sure knows how to kick us when we’re down, doesn’t it?

I tried to count how many terrorist attacks there have been this year, and gave up after thirty – before realising that I was ONLY LOOKING AT SEPTEMBER. Let that sink in.

Bowie died, and the fabric of the universe melted – Prince, Alan Rickman, Victoria Wood – to name a few. Brussels, Brexit, and now President Fart. I mean, come on universe, give us room to breathe.

So some beautiful Twitter pals of mine, Perri and Niall and I have decided that we aren’t letting hate win, and you shouldn’t either.

After a year that has fallen to hate, sexist, racism, prejudice, distrust, and fragmented communities, it’s so so easy to feel lost and disheartened. To give up.

But this is still our planet. We still have to live here, and we still love the people on it.

Each good deed has a ripple effect. Each good person makes a difference. And when one good person does a good thing, and another joins them, it has a snowball effect. Soon a hundred good people are making real change.

Today, I signed up as a Samaritans volunteer. Yesterday, I joined Fawcett Society, a charity for women’s rights.

And so begins #100GoodThings. Each day, do a good deed. It’s as simple as that. Each day do one thing that helps someone else. Tweet it with the hashtag. And soon, we have a whole feed of good deeds. A good feed, if you will.

If everyone does one good thing a day, imagine how quickly the world will become amazing. Miss a day? No fear, post something positive you saw.

Some ideas of good deeds, you ask?

How about joining a charity you care about?
Donating christmas presents to the salvation army so a family in need can have a good Christmas?
Give your old clothes to a charity shop.
Volunteer at a soup kitchen, or a homeless shelter, or for the samaritans
Send me some warm clothes to give to shelters and rough sleepers
Help someone with their gardening
Find a lonely person, have a cuppa with them.
Buy a coffee for someone on the street
Help someone with their homework
Listen to someone’s problems without talking about yourself
LITERALLY ANYTHING – there’s so much room for you to be bloody wonderful. Do what feels right. But just DO something.

In response to the election result, I shared this on Facebook, and it pretty much sums up how I feel about not giving in.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fgeorgia.thompson.148%2Fposts%2F10155491611047195&width=500

It’s time to be the best version of you, the kindest version of you. Bitterness isn’t going to fix this shit storm, only positivity can do that. Stand up for your fellow human, stand up for what you believe in, stand up for each other, stand the fuck up.

Be the person you’d be proud to tell your mum about. Be the sort of person Lin Manuel Miranda would write a musical about.

Be good. 100 days. 100 good things.

Ready?
Let’s go.

 

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Rape is my responsibility

By Hannah Bundock

Rape is my responsibility. Now there’s a statement that’s going to make lots of people angry, but hear me out.

I’m not agreeing with the misogynistic people out there who state that if I dress a certain way I’m ‘asking for it’. I’m not someone who believes a woman must act demure and reserved if she wishes to avoid unwanted sexual advances. No, I believe that a woman should be able to dress how she like and be as flirty and fun as she pleases and still be safe. Hell, even if I’m butt arse naked and laying on a bed, it’s still my prerogative to change my mind. It’s my decision; no one has the right to take that away from me. One day I want to live in a world where men and women appreciate that simple concept and therein lays my responsibility.

You see, I’m a Mum, to a beautiful energetic, exhausting, infuriating little boy whom I love with all my heart and he is my responsibility. At the moment he is only little, but one day he will be a grown up. As foreign as the idea may seem to me, one day he will be a man talking to women and it is my responsibility to ensure that when that day comes, he knows how to treat a woman with respect and as an equal. It’s my job to teach him that he should not expect anything from a woman, just because she’s wearing a short skirt or because she’s kissed him.

Telling kids that they have to let people to touch them to avoid being rude is a dangerous message.


His lessons will begin before he even realises. If I am tickling him and he tells me to stop,  I will stop. Simple enough, but it teaches him that no means no. If I continued to tickle him once he’d asked me to stop with the justification ‘but you didn’t really mean it’, what sort of behaviour am I teaching him? I wont make him kiss or hug people he does not want to. Telling kids that they have to let people to touch them to avoid being rude is a dangerous message. When he is older he won’t call girls in his class ‘slags’ without me rebuking him and god help him if he tries telling rape jokes. Grounded for a week!

Yes,  rape is my responsibility because (as much as I hate to admit it) I’m an adult, and I am responsible for the next generation. We all are. They watch us and learn from us. I want the sickening statistic  that 1 in every 4 women in the UK will be sexually assaulted to change, and that will only happen if we change. No more slut shaming,  no more laughing at inappropriate jokes just to fit in, no more pretending it’s not to do with us. It’s on us guys, men and women alike. We are responsible.

Fear in the City: A response to terrorism

By Georgia Sanders

It’s a tense time to be in London. It’s a tense time to be in any city right now. No, scratch that, it’s a tense time to be a human. (Or an Orca, but that’s a blog for another day).

Today, I was waiting for a train. A Northern Line tube train, to be precise, from King’s Cross to Angel. I was running late and didn’t fancy the walk, don’t judge me.

Standing on a platform crowded with tourists and Londoners, the LED sign emblazoned in a bright yet muddy orange the news that the next Morden train would be along in 2 minutes. As the sound of its wheels churning along the metal tracks came into focus to my left, it was over-shadowed by another noise. A man’s voice, that sounded like Siri – calm and robotic.

“All passengers please leave the station due to a reported emergency.”

An alarm sounded. You know the type, the weirdly serene fire alarms they installed in schools about ten years ago to replace the abrasive, clanging metal ones. It took us passengers a moment to register what was being said. I clicked the button on my headphones, pausing Stevie Wonder’s Stevie Ray Blues jam, and pulled the bud from my ear, looking upward as if to see the source of the ominous voice. The message repeated.

“‘Am I above the station?’ my inner monologue panicked. ‘If there’s a bomb under me, will it be powerful enough to kill me?'”


 

“All passengers please leave the station due to a reported emergency.”

It was clearer in my mind, the second time around. The train had stopped and opened its doors, and the crowd looked to one another, uncertain of whether to get on. Some jumped into the carriages, but I, like many others, took to the escalators.

A deathly silence hushed over the swarm of people making their way as swiftly as possible to the exits. My stomach flipped as I moved quickly through the doors and on to King’s Cross Square. I could hear sirens. “Am I above the station?” my inner monologue panicked. “If there’s a bomb under me, will it be powerful enough to kill me?”

Eventually Twitter revealed the situation. Someone had pulled the fire alarm in the station. Whether purposeful or not, it’s not yet known. I was relieved for a minute or two. And then, I was angry.

 

Yesterday, there were bombings in Brussels, killing 31 people, and injuring over 100 others. Daesh has claimed responsibility, yet again. We’ve already seen attacks in Paris, Ankara, Istanbul, to name a few.

Sidebar: These terrorists are not Muslims. They are simply murderers, using a thin veil of religion in order to slaughter innocent men, women and children. To cast aspersions on a faith based on the actions of a few is downright unconscionable, and if it is your opinion that the Islamic faith is to blame for any of these horrific acts, then you are wrong. And perhaps this blog is not the place for you.

I am angry because I am being held hostage by my own fear at the hands of cowards. Caught amidst an ongoing battle between prejudices and the persecuted, whilst terrorism lurks beneath the surface – in my mind, rubbing its hands together and emitting a cartoonish evil-laugh at the division it has succeeded in causing.

 

I am angry because I was afraid to go about my daily business because of the actions of a few – much like so many others in big cities.

I am angry at the legions of people crying “close the borders” and “blame the refugees”, and I am angry at certain media outlets giving inches, and therefore a platform, to these abhorrent, spiteful creatures.

I am angry at the complete lack of understanding from too many. If we are this scared in our country, where the peaceful are many and the security is strong; if we are this scared in a city where checks and response times keep attacks an unlikely occurrence – just how scared do you think those are whom are fleeing from their homes with nothing but clothes and mobile phones? Those whose countries are all but destroyed in pursuit of a non-existent ideology and a thirst for chaos and downfall?

“if we are this scared in a city where checks and response times keep attacks an unlikely occurrence – just how scared do you think those are whom are fleeing from their homes with nothing but clothes and mobile phones?”


Just how scared do you think a Syrian refugee must be to get in a rubber dinghy in an attempt to cross the sea, unsure of whether he’ll survive. Unsure of whether he’ll have safety on the other side. Unsure of whether he’s left everything he knows, loves and owns behind just to be sent straight back to the debris of a city he once loved, once laughed in. To be afraid every moment of every day, the way that I was when I heard that alarm. All because of a group of evil, twisted, murderers.

Now do you understand?

It’s a tough time to be in a city right now?
It’s a tough time to be a human right now.