Thoughts on Stormont this week.

Momentum-small.pngMomentum is the dream, isn’t it? When the strain and struggle is over, and what has been worked towards seems to have taken on a life of its own. The task, or team, or movement, now has force. There will be glitches and setbacks, of course, but nothing that can’t be ridden out.

But if momentum is the dream, then grinding to a halt is the nightmare. When the energy has decreased, and then drained away almost completely. Frustration creeps in, motivation evaporates and the simplest of tasks becomes a major effort.

Our local government has lost momentum. What little it ever had, that is. From the outset, it was the compromise we settled for, but few wholly wanted. The process has been stop-start. In running terms, it has mostly walked, and never really had the chance to get above a slow jog.

Ryan Holliday wrote, “If you want momentum, you’ll have to create it yourself, right now, by getting up and getting started.”

Too true.

And I don’t mean our politicians. We voted for them as they stood on platforms of intransigence, so in some ways, they’re only doing what we asked them to do. Momentum towards a self-governing society at peace with itself, is going to have to come from the grass roots up. This will be tough; and we’ve made it harder for ourselves by falling into the habit of looking at our government the way mechanics look at cars when the engine has seized. We need to spend less time looking at the stationary vehicle, sucking our teeth, and making disparaging remarks like “I don’t fancy your chances.” None of this is moving us anywhere; all we’re doing is creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

We need to start asking some big questions. Like, ‘What does a peaceful society look like?’ And not stop at one word answers like ‘fair’, ‘vibrant’ or ‘inclusive’. We need to ask ourselves what these things look like where we live, where we work, where we have influence.

We can’t stop there either. There’s approximately 1.8million of us north of the border. That’s a population smaller than Manchester. Like it or not, we’re interdependent. So, we also need to ask ourselves what these values, in real terms, mean for others. What do we need for everyone to thrive?

Og Mandino said, “I will persist until I succeed… In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.”

Too true.

Building momentum is going to be a daily event. We can’t complain that nothing’s moving when it’s down to us to start pushing it. As the saying goes, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

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