The food accident that encapsulated the Brexit problem

Posted by Debra Allcock

chief Executive, DSC

Sat 27th, Jul

The pain a chilli caused me reminded me that we need the milk of human kindness to restore some sanity.

I had a very unfortunate encounter with a chilli recently. Stupidly, I rubbed my eyes after chopping one. I was in agony!

My eyes were burning like the very furies in hell! I staggered about blindly, screaming “My eyes! My eyes!”, closely followed by my chap carrying a pan of milk, trying not to laugh and yelling: “Alkali, Debs! Alkali!”

He finally managed to bathe my eyes with the milk. I looked one hell of a sight with bright red bloodshot eyes and a face covered in milk and running mascara. But thankfully it worked and I regained enough vision to glare furiously at Andy for having the temerity to find my predicament funny.

It feels to me a bit like our country has accidentally rubbed chilli in its eyes and is running about screaming blindly, only it’s not remotely funny.

My problem was basic hygiene. I didn’t wash my hands properly. Is that what’s happened to our nation?

Is that why we’re in pain and cannot see? Have we forgotten the basic hygiene of good citizenship? Good manners? Listening? Understanding that others don’t see things the way we do?

Recognising that those of us who are comfortable in our lives are not representative of the whole? Noticing those crying out that they’re not being seen.

I’m a trustee of In Kind Direct, a charity that redistributes excess or unwanted stock to other charities.

At a recent board meeting we had a visit from the Oasis Partnership. Its representatives told us that the quality of the goods we give it to distribute to its community demonstrates to those it serves that they are respected, and the effect of that is to infer a sense of dignity.

They told us how treating someone as being worthy of nice things has an effect so profound it is hard to quantify. Oasis gives its folk the shea butter loo roll, the branded trainers, the posh pram. It believes that people who feel respected and who are treated with dignity are more likely to behave that way to others. And it’s right.

If only more of our politicians would emulate the Oasis Partnership’s standards of behaviour: behaving with dignity; treating others with respect.

Instead, we witness rudeness and condescension to those who see things differently; taunts and tirades that set a standard for public discourse that is toxic, infectious and emulated by folk with bad intent.

They’ve obviously forgotten that history will not be kind to them. Their bad-minded manipulation of certain sections of the public and media will one day come back to haunt them. They will not go down in history as mighty leaders but as purveyors of pain and discord.

I make no apology for over-stretching my metaphor. When my eyes were in pain and I couldn’t see, I needed my man with a pan of milk. Our country is in pain and it cannot see. What it needs from us is the milk of human kindness to heal.

This article first appeared on Third Sector.

Leave a comment

Happy 9th Birthday 6th Door Ltd

Tue 19th, May

As I’m leaning on the stand-up desk in my makeshift home office, that over the weeks has been turned into a video and podcast recording studio

How to take back control of your water costs

Fri 13th, Mar

While most businesses already have a comprehensive strategy in place for their electricity and gas consumption, water management is often overlooked.

How to choose an energy consultancy

Fri 13th, Mar

Most business owners recognise the advantages of shopping around for the best energy deal, but without the time, resource and expertise to find the best tariff, it can be an almost impossible task.

Business energy: Don’t get caught out by rollover rates

Fri 13th, Mar

As a busy business owner, you may feel there are not enough hours in the day to secure your next energy contract. You know you’ll get around to it, but when you’ll get around to it is another matter.

Business water matters – Top 3 water saving tips

Fri 13th, Mar

Water is often referred to as ‘the forgotten utility’. While many large businesses are clearly focussed on their comprehensive energy strategies, it seems many are yet to implement a strategy around managing their water usage.

Know where your cloud data is stored or risk a GDPR fine

Thu 27th, Feb

For businesses who have chosen cloud-based data hosting services there’s a temptation to relax and think “great, we’re paying someone else to take care of our data, we don’t need to worry about it any more.”

Transparency plans could slow down region’s business growth

Thu 27th, Feb

Efforts by regional start-up initiatives that have led to Merseyside outperforming the rest of the UK when it comes to business growth could be hampered by new government proposals, a leading legal expert has claimed.

Backup or risk losing your business

Thu 13th, Feb

Maintaining a robust backup is hard work, it’s important to not only build the correct solution for your business and trust your IT support provider to look after it, but to also maintain a sense of urgency as a business owner to...

Information Destruction and Compliant Data Handling in the Education Sector

Thu 13th, Feb

Identity theft costs the UK economy £5.4 billion and a recent BSIA report showed 169,592 cases of identity fraud, representing an increase of 49% over the previous year.

Give Your Business Utilities a Refresh for 2020

Mon 20th, Jan

January is a time for reflection for most people and this includes business owners, with the new year bringing with it an opportunity to take stock of performance during the past 12 months, create goals for the year ahead, and ensure...