Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Goethe
My life at the moment is a very delicate and rich balancing act of running my business, attending hustings with the aim of being selected to stand as an MP and being a Mum, a wife and a daughter too. As I write my daughter is traveling to see us and I'm so looking forward to seeing her for a few days. Last weekend was seeing my Mum in her care home, looking fragile but happy with new friendships strengthening. Undoubtedly the trip to see her great grandsons was her highlight. Just the smiles on their faces bring her alive.
As we returned back to the home we were greeted by the cat. Her name is Mama one of the other residents told me. Mama was the focus that day. Everyone from the staff to the residents had a special hello, a purr filled welcome. One of the gentleman was in singing mode too and as Mum joined them in the dining room, everyone was listening; a special atmosphere settling. His words maybe didn't match the music but his animation was transfixing and joyful too. "Who told him he could sing?" Mums friend said. She replied I "hope it's not catching" ( she has a horror of singing in public).So we laughed but also agree that had my Dad still been with us he would have been joining in, never one to miss the chance to sing. The warmth of the home means there is real sense of life being lived here. It's probably why whenever I phone Mum isn't in her room, choosing instead to join the others. The upside of giving up her home is that loneliness is a thing of the past.
As we left she waved with a smile and my heart lifted till the next visit. You will understand that few days later when I read this fabulous article by Atul Gawande about how a young doctor brought a nursing home back to life, it moved me deeply. It's so uplifting to read, to be encouraged by his boldness and to see the results. He made me want to set up a nursing home and do the same, sometimes direct action is the way to enable the change you want to see!
This story has so many layers to learn from. He was bold, he was willing to stand out from the crowd, he was willing to fail,he saw what needed to change and he followed that through. Truly inspiring.
Maybe that's where my worlds meet? In being willing to not only campaign for but also put into action what I believe in and be willing to risk failing. The campaigning work I have done in the last year has been, for me, all about creating a more just, fairer and as a consequence more prosperous society, where every voice matters equally. Achieving that in Scotland, I have come to believe is through us having most, if not all, of the powers here.
That's why I'm going out these cold January evenings to seek the support of those members to choose me as their MP candidate. I'm not the pushiest, not the noisiest either, that's just not me. But my track record shows my tenacity, my determination and my ability to lead and make change. Whatever the outcome, it's an amazing experience and what I do know is I'm going to do my best in whatever way I can to help a fairer and more equal society emerge. I know I'm not alone in wanting that. If I can inspire others to do what they can too, I will be delighted.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."