This week we arrive at the 18th July; 10 days before my pre-booked flight to Israel and just one calendar month until the start date of my new life in New York City. Both of these destinations are literally miles away from the reality of my new working life in the office, and both remain unvisited. Taking both cancellations on board, I couldn’t help but wonder. Does change serve a deeper purpose?
18th July 2014
“…about the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs
The walk home from my final night out in Bristol involved encountering a group of drunk people singing ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams; this led to impromptu tears regarding my impending departure from my uni-town. Mixed emotions led to continued tears during the entire drive home; Essex was (quite literally) in floods. The silver-lining of this change was living with my sister once again, until I became her taxi-driver, maid and housewife (day 1). Reunited with both of my cats, Elton and Madonna, I decided that I must learn to embrace change and the ‘what now’ scenario I’d found myself in. As I discovered an article entitled ‘Writing doesn’t pay’, I realized that my impending interview for a Graduate opportunity was a blessing. A ten minute solo-presentation led to employment; a well-deserved spa day followed. Wearing a suit felt like playing dress-up and unpacking my boxes into my old box-room was a challenge that required wine. As my student bank account became a graduate one, change hit home. Whilst waiting on my New York decision, I embraced change by learning to remove big spiders, and rescuing the cats from foxes. Apparently fox mating calls are not a sign that your cat is under attack. Despite these daily-life distractions, the Israel-Palestine conflict was something I could not forget.
I cancelled my trip to Israel the day before I was due to fly; decision-making has never been my strong point. I had no words for the devastating scale of death and destruction in Gaza; this was felt world-wide, alongside protests by both Arabs and Jews in Northern Israel. Several ceasefires have been attempted but to no avail; the difficulty of this conflict has been questioned on many levels, is this helped by self-published social media? It took only five days for Twitter users to use hashtags such as ‘Hitlerwasright’ and ‘Killalljews’. The equivalent was also demonstrated by Israel-supporters; both sides should be beyond ashamed. Racism and far-right verbal explosions were displayed in reactions from all angles, just a few months after the results of the European elections. Nobody could predict the scale this conflict would reach. To think that my main concerns just six months ago were the spiders, snakes and scorpions that inhabited Israel; was I naïve to imagine that peace could be restored one day soon? I was relieved to find that I was not alone. With the #jewsandarabsrefusetobeenemies social media movement counteracting ignorant views, it appears there are others looking at this conflict from a humanitarian perspective. The URL Badmen that Lily Allen refers to? Far from a myth. These champions of division are antagonizing the worst situation imaginable from the comfort of their bedroom; a few taps of the keyboard will cause greater divisions. When triple-tiered arguments achieve nothing, where does change begin? Practice the inclusivity you preach.
Understanding these issues leads to the realization that change is needed. The Age of Entitlement* is upon us, and despite the monetary distractions of daily-life, the value of human life must not be ignored. Change starts on an individual level: every person within a collective must engage in personal freedom and personal responsibility.
*The Age of Entitlement is discussed in this article: