“We are far more united and have far more things in common with each other than things that divide us.”
Jo Cox said these profound words in her maiden speech to the House of Commons after the 2015 General Election.
She was the MP for Batley and Spen.
On June 16 last year, she was murdered in Birstall, West Yorkshire, carrying out her constituency work.
Jo left a loving and supportive husband, Brendan and two children.
She also left us an important truth to inspire community life and political thinking which beg the questions what are we voting for?
Are the candidates promising changes for what we need or for what we want?
Are the contents of the party manifestos worthy of our true humanity?
Are we going to work with one another for a life enhancing world ?
No one party can stand alone to bring about the changes we seek to end poverty and deprivation or provide high standards in public services or create fairness in wealth creation.
We have to be bold enough to question the life-denying attitudes and self interests which can wreck our existence and deprive us of our freedoms and humanity.
We have the duty and the joy to use our vote to support the many, many candidates who stand for election in the hope of serving us in the search for the common good.
It is all too easy to sink into the cynical opinion that politicians are only “in it” for themselves. That may be the case for some but not for the many men and women from all walks of life who genuinely care about our communities and our world.
Jo Cox will not have died in vain if we continue to keep alive the spirit of mutual respect and concern for one another.
“God made us of one blood,” St Paul said to the people of Athens (Acts 17:26).
We all need one another to be the human race. That is worth celebrating in every election and influencing our vote.
Canon George Burgon