Today, we and the rest of Europe owe a huge debt of gratitude to the servicemen and women of this country and its allies, who liberated Europe from tyranny and sacrificed their lives for our freedom. They paid the ultimate price, so that we can live in comfort and complain about how hard done by we are, or the many choices we have to deliberate over to secure a more prosperous future. Many people, today, may not even talk to their neighbours, let alone defend them from a marauding mob.
I am proud to be British at moments like this, and there is something to be said for the comradery and shared sense of purpose, which galvanised the men and women of this country to fight for its liberty, on a local level, with more than a cursory thought for their neighbours. Your neighbours are your community, so show them kindness and be the reason they return the favour. Together we are stronger, but without the pride in our communities and the values we once lived by, which guided us to victory, we are lost!
The world may have changed, and despite the relative ‘peace’ we find ourselves in today, we are faced with a new assault on our wellbeing, which, of course, can’t be compared, but it’s worth remembering that the war zone can exist inside our heads, as much as it can on land, at sea or in the air. Years can be lost to depression, which can slip away unnoticed, without witness; and a lack of self-care, during periods of isolation, can leave indelible marks on us long after an episode has passed.
As the English metaphysical poet John Donne said: “No man is an island” – a concept shared by other religions, principally Buddhism. So, choose your battles wisely because, despite what your mind can often tell you, you do have the freedom to make that choice, and also the allies you need to liberate you, if you ask for their help. Seek solace in your society, or the healthy relationships that support you close to home, because your survival may depend on it, and your life is too precious to be lost to any war you wage on yourself or others. I salute you all.