Sometimes something happens that just stops you in your tracks.
The 16th June was one of those things.
I didn’t know very much about Jo Cox until the afternoon of the 16th, but it seems she was someone who simply wanted to make the world a better place. I haven’t seen or heard a bad word said about her; only people universally talking about how she quietly worked to make things better. Everything I’ve read about her tells me she was truly someone who wanted a better world for everyone.
Until hatred put a stop to it.
I can’t even imagine how her husband must be feeling right now and where he got the strength to put aside hatred and anger himself and say this:
“Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people.
“She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisionous.
“Jo would have no regrets about her life, she lived every day of it to the full.”
Her death is a stark reminder that we only get one shot at this life and that perhaps the only meaning there really is to life is to live a good life. A full one. A worthy life. And not to squander even a moment of it in hatred.
You can’t fight hate with hate.
You can’t make the world a better place by hurling anger and violence at it.
But we can make it a better place by really taking the time to understand other people. Even people we may not like or want to understand.
I would have liked to have known Jo Cox because she seemed like a person who lived this every day. The world is poorer now she’s not in it any more, but I am grateful that she was here at all.
It’s the tiny things that make a difference. The way we look at someone we’re unsure of. The way we decide to trust and like, instead of turn away from with suspicion. The way we make friends, not enemies.
The way we take the time to think about what someone else is going through, rather than jumping to conclusions and anger.
Little actions can change the world for the better.
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS I’ve heard people say the man who murdered her was “mentally ill”. But until we know the facts, let’s not make excuses or dress it up as anything other than it appears to be: a violent, hate-filled man who murdered another person for reasons best-known to himself.
I know people with mental illness. I’ve been a person with mental illness. Most will never hurt anyone. Most are good people.
But hatred? Like Jo Cox’s husband said, it’s poisonous. It poisons everything.