Mark Rogers' story from Change the Ending makes for a thought-provoking take on this week's #OurDay campaign.
“So, what's it to be today?” s/he thought. “Heaven or Hell?”
Every day is like a game of chance: nothing guaranteed, just www.thefates.gov.uk deciding whether or not to mess with your head. And your arms, legs and just about everything else – especially on a bad day.
But, of late, there was a third “H”. Hope. Distant, often out of reach, but, nonetheless, forming inexorably and coming closer.
When younger (yesterday, an age ago – both were true), s/he reflected, two things could be relied upon. First, others found it easier to cope with you because you were small and you were still sweet and the differences didn't show so much, so it didn’t seem to matter as much. Secondly, nobody expected very much from you, very much of you. All shocking. All shockingly un-shocking. Normal really. Ha!
But now there were signs of change. As if under the influence of a stubbornly recurrent perigee moon, the tide was turning – and staying turned. White crests were forming. Waters were beginning to boil. Waves might just come crashing sometime soon onto the shores of complacency.
Valuing difference might just become the new normal. People might ask you, not ask about you. People might expect of you, not of others. It looked like they might actually even care – care about you, but not for you. You want the chance to do that for yourself. Yes, with encouragement, with support, with challenge (and with setbacks – just like everyone else), but without that crushing passivity that was so well meaning, but so disempowering.
Like the great man said, “Don’t stop; give it all you got.” And I’ve got Hope. Just like you. I hope.
Mark Rogers is Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council and President of Solace.