i Editor's Letter: I choose to believe in society


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The Independent Online


Blimey! "Neither a borrower nor a lender be," said the Bard in Hamlet, (Letters, p16), and clearly many i readers took him to heart. None admitted to lending a friend more than £500 after my letter about Assange supporters who may lose their £240k bail surety.

I don't believe you. I think you are all more generous. But then, I am naive; for example, believing we should all pay tax (celebrated comedians, pop stars and giant corporations too), and that the purpose of school is to elevate children through education, not have schools elevated (in league tables) through children's results.

Naivety allows me to blunder through life in relative optimism, punctured by the occasional rude awakening of just how appalling people can be (and yes, I have been "people" too). I want to see and believe the best in others.

I want to believe that teachers, doctors, nurses, the police – even journalists and lawyers – work with a sense of vocation. I want to be proud of the organisation for which, and the people with whom, I work (as I am at The Independent); I even want to feel politicians say things they believe, not just for cynical expedience.

Sadly, even my naivety fails to extend to financial institutions or adverts that say "Your" as in "Your Santander", but overall, I need to live with belief in the good of my fellow citizens, as I choose to believe in society.

So, go on, why not lend a friend in need a few quid, or try to think better of a person you think ill of? As a famous pop star (and ex-tax exile) sang "(You've got to have) Faith". The alternative is too sad a way of life for me to contemplate. (I told you I was naive).