Everything starts with philosophy.
Philosophy does not have to be esoteric. It can be simple.
My philosophy is that all people are important.
It’s a simple enough idea but once you start putting it into practice the outcome is immense.
In my career of teaching it meant that I valued all my students equally – not just the ones I liked, the ones that were clever, the ones that were well behaved; not the girls or boys, the white black or brown, the Christians, Jews, Muslims or atheists, but all of them.
It was important to me that every one of them felt welcome and was deserving of my time and help. I wanted the best for everyone.
As an employer, as a headteacher, it meant that I valued all my staff, from the deputy heads to the cleaners, from the classroom teachers to the dinner staff and caretakers. They all had a role and we were a team. They were all important. There was no hierarchy of worth.
As an individual I am no patriot or nationalist. I do not believe any nationality or race is more important than any other. All cultures have good and bad aspects. All people are important. That makes me an internationalist.
I promote the good and rail against the bad in my culture and every other culture.
I could go on and on because that simple concept impinges on my political views, my social views, my attitudes and how I’ve lived my life. It means I’m a socialist who values the welfare state and NHS. It means I value equality and a more equal society. It means that I am fundamentally opposed to the wealthy elite and the establishment they have set up to favour themselves. It means I am against wars, religion and political intrigue. It means that I am against Trump, Johnson and Bolsonaro and all the privilege and corruption they represent.
That simple philosophy extends to all aspects of my life and thinking.
Strange how a little seed bears such fruit.