Posted on 17th Jun 2016 at 9:26 AM from Warwick, UK
The news of the killing of Jo Cox MP yesterday has shocked our nation. I could not believe the words I was hearing and they brought tears to my eyes. "There is more that unites us than divides us" are words from Jo's maiden speech as an MP.
Those few words are so powerful on so many levels. And they are universally true.
Personally I firmly believe that all our politicians choose their career path for the best of reasons. They all desire to spread their ideologies and apply their ideas to make our world a better place.
We might disagree with those ideologies and argue over the methodologies that implement them, but ultimately all politicians want to make the world a better place. This is a powerful, uniting objective. This unifying goal was what Jo Cox clearly saw. There is no need to agree with the particular flavour of politics to agree on the outcome.
During my time in Manchester my local MP was labour's Gerald Kaufman. Him and I are poles apart on our political beliefs. However I have a huge respect for his work in the 1970's in getting Concorde flying into the USA. Plus his energy and commitment helping me and others on local issues demonstrated by action, his drive to make that essential difference.
The killing of Jo Cox is a strike at our parliamentary system. But it is also a reminder of how quickly and suddenly life can be extinguished. No doubt Jo and her family had plans for today just like any day - plans that she will never experience.
It is a wake up call to all of us that every day is precious. We never know if our tomorrow will arrive, if we will ever see our plans come to fruition. All we can do is to make sure that today counts - ensure that today we do something that contributes to our happiness and success and makes a positive difference to the world. Big changes are made up of little steps. Do something small today, and every day, to make the world a better place.