IT’s St. David’s Day today – a day for Welsh people everywhere to celebrate their national identity and all things Welsh.
But it could be argued that this celebratory occasion is being overshadowed to some extent this year by the tumultuous and fast-changing political and social context all around us.
Tumultous and fast-changing political scene
It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that some form of civil war looks a possibility in France right now with the Gilets Jaunes Movement all set to launch what’s termed a “decisive” stage of protest action against the Macron government next week. And with the likelihood of Brexit being delayed here, and the wholesale breakdown of trust between the political class and citizens which all that entails – who’s to say that some serious dissension could not play out in front of us here as well? It’s hard to avoid the sinking sensation that it could be a long, hot summer in more than one respect.
It’s easy for people to feel completely powerless in such circumstances. The French author Voltaire’s advice in such situations was to “cultivate your own garden“, i.e focus on the things that you can do rather than bewail things that are happening all around you.
St. David’s emphasis on cultivating the Welsh garden
And it could be argued that cultivating the Welsh garden was the lifelong contribution of our patron saint St.David, with his emphasis on small and meaningful actions involving education and mission, community-building and tending the land.
The very fact that there are no fewer than 500 place names throughout Wales beginning with “Llan” is testimony to the effectiveness of this wide-ranging faith mission implemented by St.David and his fellow saints during The Age of the Saints which began here in the sixth century.
So on St David’s Day 2019- what does does small and meaningful actions look like in the Wales of today?
Building resiliency through small actions
One way of defining such action is to look for opportunities to build resiliency on a personal, community and national level – which can help us to withstand external pressures and fissures. It could mean volunteering with a local organisation. It could mean making more of an effort to shop locally and spending more of your money to boost the local economy. It could mean getting involved with a cause and making common ground with other people. Or what about saying goodbye to the propaganda of the British Brainwashing Corporation by ditching that TV licence? Or weaning off the drug of Fakebook and its sinister manipulations of our lives? Why not learn a new skill instead? Or teach someone else a skill? Mobilising together for change.
Maybe you could consider joining the fast-growing Independence campaign for Wales- either by signing up with a political party such as GWLAD, or joining a pro-Independence movement such as YES Cymru.
All small actions to build up resiliency but with some momentum collective change can happen quicker than anyone can imagine.