I went to the live feed of the opening of the TED talks series this evening. TED talks are inspirational messages from all kinds of people in fields as diverse as entertainment, human rights activism, technology, medicine and music. Each year the TED talks have a different theme.
This year’s theme is Dreaming.
It was particularly interesting to me, given the direction my life has gone in over the last few weeks. Last year, if you had told me that I’d have written a book, I’d have laughed at you. But then I did it.
This year, if you told me that I would be up to my eyes in grass roots activism, being invited to speak at political events, and becoming part of one of the coolest community groups on earth, I’d have laughed even harder.
But that’s what’s happening.
Things I never dreamed were possible are being made possible for me all the time.
Someone said to me the other day, not rudely, just wonderingly: ‘Why are you doing this? It seems hopeless. How can you (collectively) change something that big? What’s the point?’
I gave some kind of garbled answer at the time. I’ve been thinking about it since. It’s fair to say that there are times when I am reasonably downhearted. Dealing with unpleasant people who do not have your best interests at heart is not something I’d recommend as a pick me up on the down days. There are times when I think, ‘Why not just give up and go back to writing your next book and take the easy option?’
Then I change my mind. I change my mind because of the things I dream of.
I dream about a world where the little people like me, get treated fairly by the big people like them.
I dream about a world I can hand on to my children without saying sorry all the time.
I dream about a world where I can say that I did something, and it wasn’t just about me having an easy life, it was about me making a better life, and not just for myself.
I dream about doing something I can stand up and be legitimately proud of. I know it’s possible. My children are a living testament to that. If I can birth three, frankly brilliant children, given how hard it was for me, this is nothing by comparison. I didn’t give up dreaming of them, and here they are. I will not give up dreaming of this.
I dream about the community I was lucky enough to end up living in, holding onto what makes it a real community. Part of that is our GP and his surgery, but there is more. I was talking to someone today and I said to them that despite all the ups and downs of our campaign, I have had some joyous times that I would never have dreamed were going to turn out to be that joyous. I have also had the privilege to meet and work alongside some absolutely wonderful people, people I would never have met if it weren’t for this, people I feel will be friends long after this particular chapter has ended. I am truly appreciative of that blessing.
I dream of being able to share that privilege by growing our community in strength and numbers and by taking what we have learned and helping other people in need when they want to grow theirs, and make a fairer world bit by tiny bit.
I dream of the tiny, incremental changes that we are making, having a huge ripple effect and making big changes, big changes that will make life a little bit better for everyone.
I dream big.
I know dreams can come true. I see dreams come true. This dream is already coming true. It’s a shame not everyone can see that yet.