A few weeks ago a weird thing happened after I delivered this TEDx Talk
A guy came up to me and had a proper go at me for not doing anything about tax avoidance by big companies and execs. He said "its all well and good talking about individual people giving but what about corrupt Government and Business Tax Havens?". I must admit that I was a little bamboozled as normally people just politely smile and say 'Nice Talk Dave!'. He did get me thinking about the value of both the big and the small actions needed to encourage change as well as the multitude and variety of voices required to establish it.
This moment reminded me of a dialogue I had the week before with Russell Brand at his 'Medhi Vs Brand' conversation where he talked about the fact that he is just one person doing his bit and that we should all go and do our bit aswell!
Despite what the media and history tells us about heroes and reformist, change has only ever come about from multiple voices poking and nudging systems from every angle until it gives in to the irresistible transformation.
Brand, if viewed in isolation in an instant of time, could be seen to have failed in his efforts. But when his little actions are viewed in the context that it takes many parts of a body to chop down a tree and an army of axe wielders to tear down a wall then his contribution can be appreciated as a step in the right direction. Even when we don't agree with all his conclusions we have appreciate the questions he highlights. It is a failing of our individualistic society that we attempt foolishly to see peoples stories in isolation when our realities are so much more deeply intertwined.
It seems this theme of change, revolution and tax avoidance wont leave me!! Last weekend I found myself watching a film called The UK GOLD at my parents house of all places! This film, much like Brand is not a solution to our issues but I believe another useful poke, a niggling nudge towards a fairer more loving world, through informing people how the Square Mile and Westminster interlink and what effect it might have on their everyday lives.
As I reflect on the ear chewing I got from the guy at the TEDx event I realise that it is a combination of our small actions and the insistence for fairer governance that will give us the best chance to see systemic change.
We cannot focus only on the things seemingly out of our control, and fall into the trap of acting like powerless victims! We must recognise that whilst our lives are full of contradictions our everyday actions do shape our future. To only blame the governments and corporations only takes the focus away from our own lives and failings which also need much attention.
I believe there is one word that holds the keys re-imagining our world and that word is'Agape' the Koine Greek word for unconditional love.
This kind of love is fierce, courageous and committed, it is influential and intoxicating, creative and fulfilling and I am convinced it has the power to design a better system.
Whether we are asking questions of macro-economics, geo-political mediation, local education, or simply contemplating the value of being fully present in any given moment with a loved one, Agape is, I believe, the starting point that has the power to answer all of our questions.