A citizens’ charter…

How quickly things unfold…

Today I’ve caught glimpses of the news, reported so matter of factly, with footage of Austrian shop managers cleaning their glass doors and posting SALE signs, and labourers in Italy starting to return to empty-looking building sites. The reporting isn’t jubilant; it’s definitely muted. But so far (and please tell me if you’ve heard or seen differently on any mainstream stations) there’s been no mention of a vast number of people all over the world saying to one another that they don’t want to lose the goodness they’ve found amidst the chaos and distress of the COVID lockdown.

Is it possible that there will simply be some unceremonious trickle and shuffle towards the closest possible approximation we can make to our old routines? If our mainstream journalists aren’t going to pick this up, and neither our government or any of the other parties, in the next few days, then I feel very strongly moved, despite having not the faintest idea of how to do it, to start the drafting of something like (this whilst doing dishes just now) a universal citizens charter.

To set out the rough outlines of what we’ve discovered we need to stay connected with our humanity, and what we’ve realised has threatened and eroded it. And with a rough proposal in place, to start getting it out to business leaders, councillors, government officials, UN representatives, journalists…

I feel somewhat naive, awkward, embarrassed – not least because I know a lot of “this” is going to be to do with economics, and you may as well ask me about quantum mechanics. But I won’t pretend otherwise, and I know there are plenty of people out there who do know what they’re talking about, and will be able to articulate something regular people can all get to grips with. I’ve not felt like this before – I just know that it’s going to be too late very very soon, the pendulum is starting to swing.

I am willing to be fairly radical in adopting a new lifestyle for myself, but if enough of us are really powerfully feeling that this is the time to keep our feet planted and insist on keeping a firm grip on a new way of living, then we’d do well to do it together.

Will you help?

Let me know if you care about this too. Share this post. Comment with your ideas for a charter, your ideas for who needs to drive this, your encouragement…

I’m going to give it one or two days and then I’m going to write to the CEO of the organisation I work for, to the UK and European associations / accrediting bodies for my profession, to my local councillor, to local employers and anyone else immediate to me who I suspect might want to be part of forming new norms to take over from the assumptions and injunctions we were living by “B.C.”, and instead orient our society towards deep psychological, economic, environmental, and social sustainability.