The UK takes time off — to say thanks
Only halfway through this Platinum Jubilee weekend, I’m beginning to flag — and I don’t mean flag-waving. But clearly, there is a lot of enthusiasm (leastways in England) for a right royal celebration and, after months/years of constraints, it’s no surprise that any excuse for letting off the pressure release valve is very welcome. Nor is it any surprise that folks like being reminded that amongst us are some good souls who really deserve and appreciate being honored.
The Honours system, despite all the baggage of the long lost, oft regretted, (some would say, shameful) Empire, is a much-needed reminder that we all need to say ‘Thank You’ a lot more often — to tolerate honest endeavor rather than sink into putrid ponds of petty point-scoring.
Some might contrast the cost of royalty unfavorably with the plight of those discarded from the hands we’ve been dealt in this casino of capitalism. Others might dismiss honors as a cheap sop to keep the show on the road. Maybe those objections are pricks of conscience — the sure and certain knowledge that most of us are disengaged from any form of public duty or community concern. But to those who are recognized, or even considered for recognition, the boost is brilliant, the honor is theirs, and unless we make that process very special it would lose its energizing value.
These things are appreciated in some unlikely quarters — the message from Michelle O’Neill, Northern Ireland’s First Minister-designate (a Republican) was particularly gracious and very special. So, look past the tabloids’ predictably type-casted ‘celebrities’ and linger on the ranks of those who dedicate their time and energy, not for fame or fortune, but for the satisfaction of making communities come together.
Jubilation Thanks — we needed to say that.
This note is included in the Groupe Intellex list on ‘Governance’ — a series of short reflections to stimulate discussion amongst students.