True Grit

Last February I got snowed in during a visit to London town and wrote about Snowing and Togetherness.

Here I am nearly a year later and the snow is even deeper. The togetherness is different too. As I’ve said before – maybe it has something to do with lovely  co-production, citizenship and co-creation theme tune I hear every day.

It is genuinely lovely and exciting and over flowing with possibility. That’s why  Snook are looking for evidence of it actually happening and making a difference in the places we live.

When the snow fell the Scottish Government asked ordinary people to take more responsibility for their own welfare and the welfare of others. This echoed what MyPolice heard at the RSA when they spoke about human capability. They believe every citizen has the potential to be:

  • self reliant
  • resourceful
  • self sufficient
  • altruistic

and behave in a way that their actions contribute to the social fabric of society. The Scotsman’s Life In The Freezer captured this perfectly:

“Elsewhere there has been much talk about “true grit”; of communities pulling together; of the spirit of the Blitz being rekindled. And – though some may see this as a major exercise in buck-passing – there is little doubt that across Britain the current weather crisis has sparked a few acts of great resourcefulness and heroism among ordinary people.

But there have also been those small, mundane, everyday acts of altruism: whether it’s pushing strangers’ cars out of snow drifts, taking a neighbour’s children to school, buying groceries for those who can’t get to the shops or looking in on vulnerable pensioners, people seem to be becoming a little less blinkered and insular.

Stranded drivers made the best of their ordeal by building snowmen on the central reservations of motorways

The cold weather seems to be bringing out people’s creativity too, Caldercruix Community Centre project development officer Ruth Taggart’s own street took on a party atmosphere as neighbours banded together to clear it.

“When the first snow came, just before Christmas, we came home from a shopping trip and found we couldn’t park in our cul-de-sac so three or four families – the adults, their sons and their friends – all came out to clear it. We had music going, and juice to drink, and there was lots of laughing. At one point, the boys were all competing to knock off the dangerous icicles with snowballs. Normally we just come in from work and go straight into our houses, so it made a change to spend some time outdoors with everyone.”

So there is certainly no lack of true grit in Scotland.

I like this little collection from the BBC – people across Scotland share their experienes of the icey conditions.