Throughout my life I’ve often missed an emotion. It’ll sound silly right now, surrounded as I am by family.
The emotion, or maybe instinct is better, is that of affection.
Affection covers so many aspects of what makes being a human exactly that: human. With it, we are beloved, caressed, remembered and cared for. Without it, quite the opposite.
Do I really need to spell it out?
So would you ever, now, associate this impulse with what politicians do?
When did politics lose its ability to encompass the world mortals occupy? When did politics become an affection-free zone? How is it possible that something which so completely ties in to our everyday existences becomes so distant from everything which we, as a broader humanity, require of our lives?
Why do so many of our political leaders feel the need, these days, to excise affection from the stuff they choose to manifest?
I’m sure when I was younger (maybe it wasn’t the case; but hey-ho, I can strive to believe, can’t I?), important people expressed affection for this or for that all the time: for country; for spouses; for migrants fighting to make their way; for grand achievements with a societal impact; for the kindnesses shown by one group to another.
Affection, and its partner in crime: kindness.
When did you last have the chance to associate kindness – or, indeed, affection – with a political act, actor or actress?
And if you can’t remember, ask yourself: why not?
There’s a Twitter hashtag doing the rounds at the moment: #2014In5Words. My contribution? As always, destined to be misunderstood: “Politicians’ generosity overflows.”
Happy Christmas, won’t you?