No matter where you are in the world, you probably heard the terrible news of the murder of MP Jo Cox. This isn’t to be a political piece, just an airing of my thoughts as I’m still a little shell shocked by the whole thing.
Over the last few days we’ve heard lots about Jo.
In brief, she worked for Oxfam, she was MP for Batley and Spen, she celebrated the diversity in her constituency, she chaired the All Party Parliamentary Friends of Syria group, she spoke about the need to rethink the governmental approach to economic regeneration, she supported Labour Friends of Palestine & the Middle East, she was senior adviser to anti slavery charity Freedom Fund, she spoke out for the 3000 unaccompanied refugee children, she was a wife and she was Mummy to her own two young children aged 3 and 5.
This is such a brief outline of Jo and her work. It doesn’t even begin to do justice to exactly how hard working she was. But we can all take from this brief list and from everything said about her and her nature that she was, without a doubt, a good person. She gave a damn about other humans, not just in her immediate vicinity but all over the world.
And for that, it seems, she died.
The far right have been particularly vile about her death. Initial speculation was “It’ll be one of them Muslims”. But wait, it turned out to be a white man who declared his name in court as ‘Death to traitors, freedom for Britain’. A white man with links to Neo nazi groups. She had died at the hands of a white, English terrorist. A man who believed his political views were more important than two young children growing up with their Mummy by their side to nurture, support and love them.
This sent certain far right groups into meltdown “Well just because we shared the same ideals doesn’t mean we’re all like that” The irony hurts.
They were soon back to form with their opinions. Her actions “placed a target on her back” and it was the “death of a fool”. She was one of those lefty do gooders, liberal MPs so she deserved it*.
This attitude is that she deserved to have her life cut short, her children deserve to grow up with no mother because Jo gave a shit about other people. Because she wasn’t blinkered to life outside of her bubble. Because she believed that humans are humans no matter where they had the fortune (or misfortune) to be born.
When did it become so wrong to want to do good?
We spend so much time telling our children not to be mean. To be nice. To be good. Do we actually mean be good and be nice but only if you personally gain from it. Don’t bother being nice or good if it’s only for OTHER people because other people don’t actually matter.
Be selfishly nice and good?
No, I want my children to be good to everyone, whether they’re rich or poor, pink or green, here or there.
I want my children to be compassionate, loving humans who don’t feel like the world owes them or that they have some ‘priority’ because of where they were born.
I want my children to realise that they should be good and nice to everyone and treat everyone how they would like to be treat themselves.
I want my children to be caring enough to be able to imagine themselves in someone elses shoes, to understand and to empathise.
None of us can be certain that we won’t fall on hard times. None of us know what others have been through. And none of us have the right to judge others on what we ‘assume’ of them and their lives.
Jo Cox was a good person, a caring person, an inspirational person. A lot of us could do with taking a leaf from her book.
We could all try to do more good. We could all do with being a little nicer, a little more civilised.
Then maybe together we could all ensure that love WILL be stronger than hate.
*All of the nasty crap said by the Far Right groups is readily available online, I’ve not cited references as I don’t want to acknowledge them or give them some skewed promotion.