“I don’t know about the rest of you but I decided upon my New Year’s resolutions before 2012 had begun. Gone are the soft, fuzzy and ultimately pointless resolutions made in the hope that the New Year will be different from the previous year and in their place are resolutions firmly putting myself on a war footing. For me, 2012 is the year in which I start to campaign in earnest for the causes that mean something to me, things that will change the world for the better (or get my views on them off my chest for good).
My resolutions are:
Do my best to ensure a future for a user-led mental health service user involvement project.
Campaign for the legalisation of voluntary assisted suicide for all those who want it.
Write one column per month for Your Thurrock.
Be honest and blunt with everyone (even to the point of offending them).
Set up a group of like-minded people with a view to creating a new cultural and political renaissance.
This year is, for me, a year of rebirth and, in order to cut away the baggage of my previous life, I have chosen to discard the name I was given by my parents and have chosen a name which symbolises my new self, Valen. I have used ‘Valen’ as a pseudonym for years on various projects but I have decided that it will become the name I will use most of the time with a view to changing my name by deed poll in the future.
I will start to write letters, organise meetings and generally make a complete nuisance of myself in the pursuit of my aim to change the world for the better and I invite my readers to be a part of my quest. I am looking for people who can see the almighty mess the world is in and want to change the landscape of our society. The ‘professionals’ have caused our society nothing but pain and it is time that we, the enthusiastic amateurs, take control of the reins to see if we can make a better job of it.
Some people may think me mad but there is a precedent for amateurs changing the world – Darwin was an amateur in his field, yet he changed the world with his theory of natural selection. There is nothing stopping a determined group of amateurs making a similar contribution to the history of mankind except our own apathy and I’m not giving into apathy anymore.
I will be sending monthly updates to Your Thurrock as part of my column with more regular updates, including the full texts of letters I send out to MPs and their replies, being posted on my personal blog at http://valen1971.blogspot.com.
I hope some of you will come along for the ride.
Until next time…
If you would like to comment on any of my columns, please send them to email@example.com or you can check out my personal blogs at http://valen1971.webs.com/ or http://valen1971.blogspot.com. You can also find me on Twitter (@valen1971) or on Facebook (valen1971).