To Build a Better Future

Michael Herron

The world seems to be at war today with crises in three main areas: how the economy works or doesn’t work for people, youth crime and relationships between the sexes.  I do not claim to have all the answers to these questions, and I have not even mentioned the biggest problem of all, global warming.  However, by dealing with the three areas I mentioned above we may then be able to turn our minds to meeting that huge challenge of climate change.

The answers to these questions incorporate three main themes: community, mental health and harmony.  Taking the first of these themes, I believe the answer to the question of how to make the economy work for people lies in reviving communities.   Of course, I am not the first to say this and since 2016 there has been much commentary on how to revive communities throughout the West that feel forgotten.

However, the answers that I have heard so far seem to be that central government knows best and like a lord dishing out crumbs from his high table to beggars below central government will hand out money to struggling communities as and when it sees fit.

I beg to differ.  I believe communities understand their own specific needs better than central government.  The leaders of these communities in local government, small and medium sized business and community groups know better than central government what their communities lack and require.  Central government should take its cue from these local leaders, empower them not dictate to them that it knows best.  Local communities should be empowered by being enabled to raise and keep more of their income within their communities themselves rather than continually having to hand this income over to central government.  In other words, central government and each community should act in partnership with each other.  There are certain things that only central government can do such as organise and fund a Green New Deal but again this should be in partnership with local communities.

The answer to the second question that of youth crime I believe lies in resolving mental health issues of our youth.  I draw upon my experience as a student teacher at Savanna High School in California in 1996 as I outline in my book Revelation: Conspiracy is only the beginning published by Matador to explain how these issues may be resolved.

Firstly, I would like to say that Savanna was a very well organised school.  It had three vice-principals (deputy heads), one took students with surnames A-F, another G-Q and so on.  The school had a multi-racial student body (Whites, Blacks, Latinos, Orientals) and because the school was so well structured whenever a teacher had an issue with a student, they could refer them to the appropriate vice principal.  Consequently, the school had few issues with discipline.

There is an additional point I would like to make about how Savanna was organised that has relevance to dealing with the question of youth crime.  Savanna had a team of counsellors on campus and once a student was referred to them this team of counsellors could talk to the student and find out if there were issues outside of school that were affecting their mental health and consequently, their school work.  This team of counsellors would then devise a plan tailored to the student’s individual needs and might liaise with outside agencies to help the student solve their problems from outside school.  In this way, the school was the first port of call for the student not the police.

I believe that if every school in Britain and the United States followed Savanna’s example and employed a team of counsellors that could coordinate with outside agencies it could stop many students from falling through the cracks and nip in the bud any attraction the student might have to joining a gang.  This could go some way to solving the gang issue in Britain and the US while also helping our youth cope with their mental health issues.

The third question is one where angels fear to tread and that is how to create harmony between the sexes in the wake of #MeToo, but I will take the plunge in any case.  I believe the answer lies with us men.  The problem seems to be that we are not very good at listening to what women really want.  We should realize that if a woman feels safe and gets some satisfaction emotionally and sexually, we can get more satisfaction than if we are only worried about our own needs.  Isn’t the whole point of making love so that the woman is satisfied, otherwise what’s the point?

This stems from the idea that men and women are equal.  In that case we should really listen to what a woman wants and needs.  If we don’t know what she wants, ask. We might be surprised.  When making love it is not the case that if she wins, we lose.  We should look at it like this; if she wins, we both win.  This does not mean that we should give in to women in every detail of our lives.  I don’t believe women would want that in any case since they would still want to respect us.

It does mean that be listening to what she wants before making love and giving it to her as she wants the mutual trust this may inspire may spread into other areas of our lives enriching our relationships in which give and take is the order of the day.  I should also stress being protective does not need to mean being controlling, and we should always be vigilant that it does not become so. Being protective means that she and her children are kept safe for their benefit not ours.

All the answers to these questions may not create heaven on earth.  I’m not even sure that it is desirable to try to create heaven on earth since the road to hell has often been paved by those seeking nirvana.  We may not achieve perfection, but we may be able to create a world that is more liveable than the present one.  And that is something worth striving for.  By coming together as one harmonious and diverse community we can put the past behind us and build a better future.


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