Share a Moment of Pride

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30 January 2019

I want to share a moment of pride.

Listening to BBC Radio 4 this morning, while exercising on my cross-trainer, I felt a swelling of pride.

At 9:30 there was a fifteen-minute programme ‘Hacking Happiness – What if Happiness isn’t about the self at all?’.

This was followed by a fifteen-minute reading from Erling Kagge’s book ‘Silence’.

And then a wonderful segment on Woman’s Hour in which mothers talked openly and poignantly about their experiences of breastfeeding.

And I thought: What if there had been no flower power? No feminism? No new approaches to psychology, spirituality and the arts? These reflective, open-hearted, emotionally intelligent and inclusive programmes might never have been recorded and broadcast.

I often quote the African liberationist, Franz Fanon, who said that the greatest tragedy for any generation is to not fulfil its mission.

Listening to those radio programmes I felt proud because things have changed.

I know that right now national and global politics seem vulgar and dangerous. It is easy to feel pessimistic. But turn your minds back to when men in grey flannel, tweeds, black robes and uniforms seemed to be the sole authorities, with only a few bohemians sparkling colour into the patriarchy.

Things have changed.

Each of us who followed, and still follows, that new way which respects all ages, all genders, all sexualities, all abilities, all spiritualities, all ethnicities – and, as best we can, demonstrate compassion, love in action and a deep instinct for social justice and equality for all beings – we have helped bring about that change.

And the mission continues.

Quietly or loudly be optimistic. Keep on trucking. All will be well.

By | 2019-01-30T11:57:13+00:00 January 30th, 2019|Articles, Opinion - Activism|22 Comments


  1. Sara Haworth January 30, 2019 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Thank you – especially for the Franz Fanon quotation. It is confusing at the moment, but I also think we need to listen beyond the clamour to what sustains us, and follow that, whether it is in prayer and retreat, climate activism, or simply being kind and thoughtful to our neighbours. Lots of love to everyone.

  2. Michelle Audette January 30, 2019 at 12:35 pm - Reply

    Hi William – to continue on this vein – I don’t know if you saw but Marianne Williamson has just declared she is running for president of the USA. Her announcement speech is here and especially in the second half – boy does she bring feminist values to the forefront for all of us. Really powerful female voice to watch in the next two years!

  3. Anita Pepper January 30, 2019 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Once again William a big thank you for your insight and encouragement. A man after my own heart and feeling.
    There is so much negativity around, so those of us who feel positive need to encourage each other and connect.
    One of our spiritual teachers said recently when we are surrounded by “doom and gloom” merchants ,just say “I am not on board with that” …just step back and look for the wonderful signs of positive change, groups in the community ,mindfulness in schools, random acts of kindness….inspiring films and documentaries such as David Attenbourough’s which raise our awareness and make change happen.”

  4. Marie January 30, 2019 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    Very important to be said and truly taken in at a deep level.

  5. Nathalia Westmacott-Brown January 30, 2019 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Beautiful William – love it – love you…so open, so honest, so lovely. Appreciation is everything, isn’t it? So vital to look over our shoulders every now and again and see how high we have climbed. Then we have the resources, energy and determination we need to carry on to the summit! ; )) Much love to you dear comrade. : )) Keep up the good work!

  6. Sally O'Connell January 30, 2019 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much William – in some ways I had forgotten how much we have done and how far we have come. It is very good to remember and cheered me up :o)
    Love to all

  7. Leslie Luchonok January 30, 2019 at 2:24 pm - Reply

    Beautifully said, William. Beautifully. Thank you. Blessings and love from across the pond. Leslie

  8. Bridget Mayo January 30, 2019 at 2:31 pm - Reply

    Thank you William – for pointing out these two hopeful broadcasts, and for doing what you do, helping to keep me optimistic.

  9. Ceri January 30, 2019 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much William, we need to remember how far we have come and not be despondent with the current state of affairs. We must keep our hearts open and keep smiling. Love light and bless

  10. Hilary January 30, 2019 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    Thank you, it so cheered me up to read this and it is so appreciated. Thanks.

  11. Dai Owen January 30, 2019 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Hi William – Thanks for saying this – how true!

    Let’s all hold hands with the future, and Keep on Truckin’ !!

    Love & Peace

    Dai x

  12. Laura January 30, 2019 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    How wonderful that the voices and actions of a few made the profound difference it has on our World and beings. Beg to be different, live outside the box and just be the unique people you are. Have you ever played dominoes? Well imaging someone filming the domino effect but . . . . in reverse. We all play our part and let it be a great, big convoy!!!!

  13. Stephan January 30, 2019 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    It all depends on the viewing point, does it not? Thank you for your inspiring words, William. Still – we may have come 3 steps forward since flower power times, and now – with challenges piling up upon us wherever you look – man must be damn careful not take not to step 10 steps back. Much of today’s actions of our leadership and many citizens come from instinctive survival centres and not very much from a deeper state of enlightenment at all. But that’s only my own view point…….:-)……..Thanks God I keep on hanging out with people who dare a bigger life vision than what we have right now. That gives me hope. That number is on the rise. Let’s trust it will be in time.

  14. Ida Elisabeth Nagell Hvoslef January 31, 2019 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Dear William,

    Thank you so much for reminding us about this change that really is getting stronger and stronger. I’ve been working for years with the health of rivers in Oslo and see the same deep change. Though sometimes not so clear, but still there if you really look. Very important to focus on this.

  15. Jennifer Kustal January 31, 2019 at 10:12 am - Reply

    So Absolutely right on.

    Elevate, Elevate, Elevate…..every which way we can; with good will, with humour,
    with the right word or silent deed, at the opportune, presenting, penetrating moment.
    It is ‘Godspell’ !

    Thank you William

  16. Steve Heigham January 31, 2019 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Hi. Thanks for that. Really made my day. Cheers Steve

  17. Edward February 1, 2019 at 5:26 am - Reply

    Thanks William,
    Heartening article. I have been in the slog since the sixties in California,
    Its good to see that many are trucking onward. The new generations csn
    be powerful.

  18. Kirsty Macdonald February 1, 2019 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Thanks for that, William! Always good to have reminders that help us to keep grounded and balanced – and feeling inspired to keep dreaming! And we need plenty of that these days.

  19. Jude Warren February 2, 2019 at 2:49 am - Reply

    thank you William…yes we have to filter out the negative news that sends bleak images and focus on the positive and inspiring people that are in our world and our lives…a long time ago I attended one of your retreats at the Abbey in Glastonbury and it was a special weekend..I now live thousands of miles away in the Blue Mountains NSW Australia…it has a different harsher beauty and one I struggle with at times. My peaceful inner heart space is always the Sacred gardens at the base of the Tor!
    Thank you for your wisdom and insights that keep us connected to the earth, the elements and the love that binds us all.. Jude

  20. Cathy Russell February 3, 2019 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Thank you so much, dear William, This was just what I needed to hear at this time of intense stress and turmoil. It reminded me so succinctly that it is crucial to be constantly vigilant to prevent invasive negativity creeping in to our thoughts, which then infects our words and sadly may then go on to affect our actions. This can be seen so clearly in motion today by some of our world leaders. To know that there are so many light-filled, compassionate and self-aware people out there sharing these views is so heartening. Love to you all and thank you William. Could this become a weekly forum?

  21. judy February 3, 2019 at 12:52 pm - Reply

    I’m 64 this year and in these strange times it’s good to be reminded how things were. I remember when men seemed to ‘run’ everything. (Watch Mad Men if you weren’t alive then) – the sexism and racism…It’s good to be reminded things have change for the better..
    I guess we did something right.
    Love 🙂

  22. Victoria Manthorpe February 3, 2019 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Thanks, William – good cheerleading!

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