Just learned that blogger Glen Carrigan of Homo scientificus passed away this week. He wrote about “Psychology, humanism, health, and society” and you may have caught him on The Big Question (photo above from his blog post on) and various podcasts.
Whilst he may not be with us, the humanist ideals he espoused will live on. I just wanted to share something from a blog post he did following the General Election this year.
My heart goes out to all those that knew him.
“Remember, we can engage in democracy all year round, and perhaps we should actively do so. Having an idea, meeting people, making new friends and creating a plan is how it all starts. I recently heard a friend when asked “what can we do?” about a particular topic answer: “Get up from your armchair and actually do something.” This was at a conference concerned with Free Thought all over the world, and he was right!
So many people are complaining about X or Y party, say they would have voted but they don’t trust anyone, say it wouldn’t have made a difference, bemoan the fact that it’s a flawed system anyway so why bother, or chastise others for voting however they did, despite a lack of engagement of their own beyond the election itself sometimes. But what can we do?
Join a lobbying group or volunteer for a charity and work towards positive ends – I’d recommend the British Humanist Association if you’re concerned about free expression, secularism, science, and championing human rights for everyone. Actually join the political party that you currently support, and if you have concerns that they’re a bunch of self-serving Tories in top hats, or liberals that lean so far left they almost fall over, then join anyway and mix things up – They’ll probably be glad you did so and you’ll be able to join the debate and make a real impact. Are you a researcher or a lecturer, a labourer or a nurse? Well then join your union and put aside some time to campaign. Find or create some campaigns you think are worth fighting for and actually go for it: Write to MPs, petition other governments, satirise the current government … do something! If you’re a student, you probably have more time on your hands than the rest of us to do all of the above, so pitch in.
If you have principles then please stand up for them, in a democracy that’s what counts, it’s not enough to moan into an echo chamber or be outraged. By all means get a bit angry, but then do something with it … something legal! I’ll always vote and ACT in the interests of human rights, free expression, equality, secularism, science education, and justice. But it takes more than talking about something, whatever that might be, to achieve it. You got one vote after 5 years, well, for the next 5 years you could be doing so much more.”
From Chris Moos: “I’m thinking of my friend Glen Cas Carrigan who tragically lost his fight against depression yesterday. He was one of the most impressive and talented individuals I ever met and I feel privileged to have been able to get to know him, even if not enough. The chances that anyone who reads this will go through at least one depressive episode or other mental health issue in their lives is very high. Depression or any mental health issue are health issues, and as any other health issue they can be treated. I just want to tell you, you are not alone in your suffering, even if it might seem that way, and there is always help. If ever you feel down, please do reach out to me or one of the many people who care about you. There always is a way out, even if you cannot see it at the moment. Please, reach out.”