A few days ago my former employer asked me if I could help out at one of their regional events. I agreed readily and really enjoyed doing it. While I was driving home, I pondered writing a short blog post about how nice it felt to be back among those people – even if just for an evening. How nice it felt to chat and joke and especially how nice it felt to be received back warmly. I did leave on good terms 4 years ago and have met some of them on occasion since then, but I haven’t been back or involved in those events since. There were quite a few people I haven’t met since I left and it was lovely to see them again and to exchange a few nice words.
The main topic of that post probably would have been some introspective discussion about how weird it is, that I’m surprised that they did welcome me back warmly and what this says about my own screwed up perception of myself. Even with all the introspection it would have been a post with a positive vibe.
Before I got around writing this post though, Jo Cox, a 41 year old Member of Parliament was murdered in the UK and that horrible incident made me rethink a lot more about that night at my former employer’s event. Because as I had spent the first 10+ years of my working life working “in politics” (and am still involved with it on a local level), this event had been a political one. During all these years I have worked in various jobs and on various levels for or with a quite a few of members of regional council or state parliament. I have also met and collaborated with numerous MPs from the national parliament. In some cases we even had been office or floor mates, before they switched from being a political aide to candidate to MP. I know these people. I know what motivates them to do what they do. I know what they fight for and I mostly share their values and motivations. I see how dedicated they are to their job as representative of their constituency. In many cases I also know about their partners and children. If we had worked closely I’ve probably met them at some point.
I know these people. They are good people. They are the representatives of my party here in my region, so in a way they are my people. And the idea that someone might just gun them down on open street for whatever reason, chills me to the bone.
That’s why this horrible murder of Jo Cox hit so close to home for me and why it’s still on my mind. I keep checking the news sites and Twitter for more information and I read tribute after tribute and my heart breaks for her little family. For everyone who loved and knew her and who had had the privilege to work with this obviously wonderful, caring, brilliant, dedicated woman. I didn’t even know her or about her before this happened, but I still might need some time to get over it…