The headline tells us “Brexit to send UK tumbling down world economic league table…”. and we ask “Is this making Britain great again?”
But the headline, indeed the whole question of where Britain ranks in the world economy has absolutely NOTHING to do with whether Britain is great. What matters is whether Britain is becoming more human.
Being human has nothing to do with the economy or wealth, but everything to do with values. It is about valuing everybody equally, irrespective of colour, class, wealth or religion. It is about selfless behaviour for the good of others. It is about acting with integrity and speaking truth. It is about doing what is right, irrespective of the consequences.
Britain will become great when those who are well off are willing to contribute enough to ensure the wellbeing of those who are not well off, when we are willing to give up our own comforts for those who have nothing, when we are willing to give sanctuary to those fleeing war dispite the risk of personal harm.
Britain will become great when we stop expecting a political system that gives everyone all the rights that they demand, but encourages us all to self-centredness. We cannot demand perfection from public services that we are not prepared to fund. We need to stop demanding perfect treatment from others, when we cannot give it ourselves. We need to stop demanding that teachers work until midnight to keep up. We need to stop expecting to be treated in A&E within minutes when we have drunkenly staggered into a lamppost. We need to stop abandoning our personal responsibility for our own circumstances.
Britain will become great only when we choose to love one another; when we learn to contribute what we can, and to keep our expectations of others reasonable. That is my hope for 2017. Make it yours.