Thursday, 22 December 2016

A new hope

At this time of year, for the last few years, I have been selecting a word to 'adopt' as a background theme for the coming year. And the 'adoption' was in support of a charity called "I can" which specialises in helping children with communication difficulties. But this charity have ceased this money raising campaign so I was left with a conundrum: do I carry on selecting a word and who do I now support instead.

My answer was yes and I have chosen to support a local charity called "Clearly Speaking" who work with children local to Buckingham where I live, who also have communication difficulties. (You can find out more about their work here)

But what word should it be for 2017?

My word for 2016 was Dance! For 2017 my word is....


Rapprochement: "(especially in international affairs) an establishment or resumption of harmonious relations: ‘there were signs of a growing rapprochement between the two countries’ "

It seems to me that the world is in great need of more rapprochement: not just between nations, but between communities within those nations as well. 2016 appears to me to have emphasised the fractures and divisions in our world. And I am reminded of the words of Jo Cox MP, murdered on the streets of her constituency this year. She said in her parliamentary maiden speech, as we all know now, that we have "far more in common with each other than things that divide us".

By choosing rapprochement (very deliberately I have selected a French word that we have incorporated into English) as my theme for 2017, I will be doing all that I can to search for, magnify and celebrate all the things we have in common across our many divides, whilst respecting our differences too. As I have said many times: we all live under the same sky, we all bleed red and we all want a better future for the generations to come.

2017: a time for more rapprochement...