I got surrounded by a group of young men a few weeks ago. One pulled a knife on me, as three of the others were reaching into the back for their trousers. I have no doubt that the knife I saw was not the only one in the small 2m circle on a stair well in a tower block in East London they had surrounded me in.
I run a little project called InspirationalLitter (you can see links above on my website, follow on Titter and Instagram).
It is a bit like being a little Buddhist tooth fairy. I write things I think people may need to hear (or in reality stuff I need to remind my self of) and hide little cards with the hash tag on the back. Sometimes I have seen people find them and light up, and some times people tweet me when they find them. It is a project dear to my heart, but it seems to be one of my least successful internet adventures.
I see the backlash against #MeToo has begun (sigh… patriarchy runs deep), I thought I would name a few things it is not.
#MeToo Is not about shaming women or silencing people who speak out or post about it.
If you think it is not about you: listen.
If you want to tell people there are better ways of addressing this: listen.
If you want to over talk the women who have been silenced too long: listen (and check yourself).
It seems to me that these times are filled with a lot of people feeling very hopeless.
I know there have been many times in the past where where it is hard to feel how I could possibly have an impact on the horrors we are seeing every day in the news. In Syria for example, the pain runs so deep it is hard to understand how I can help and what difference I can make.
But suddenly with this new wave of attacks on the UK and in Europe I feel strongly empowered.
Maybe we have just made a huge leap towards peace and we have not even seen it.
It's in my nature to try and search for the silver lining we are told every cloud promises.
I feared Trump's victory since visiting America a few months ago and realising how many people did not see him as a credible threat. So I've had a few months to get my shovel out and start digging for some solace in the inevitable.
I know today is full of anger and fear, but please try to come with me for a minute, because we are going to need all the candles we can find in these dark times.
Let me state this clearly, because I fear you are not going to hear it, however factual it may be: I support you. I think the moral, ethical and consumer choices you make are the correct ones for the care of all creatures and the planet. I commend your dedication. I think you are right.
But the messaging has gone astray. Really astray. This hostile aggression and attitude of food shaming is serving no one. Except possibly some really over priced restaurants.