Humour

What More Could I Have Done?

From the moment the result became official, one question weighed heavily on Alan’s mind.

“What more could I have done?”

He sat at his desk, laptop open and whirring away before him but his eyes fixed on the window and the street beyond. In spite of his attempts to distract himself from the result throughout the day, that question remained. It crept forth from his subconscious at every vulnerable moment. Alan was exhausted from an arduous, seemingly interminable campaign. Yet, the campaign was now at an end. The result… Most unfavourable in Alan’s view. It was a loss that felt intensely personal and worse still for Alan whose consolation was this question, challenging him to critically assess himself and his own efforts.

“What more could I have done?”

No, it had not gone the way Alan had anticipated. It filled him with regret and left him with a queasy feeling in his stomach. Was there more that could have been done? Was Alan personally at fault for not trying to do more than he had tried to do? He thought about his own efforts and wondered how it had come to all be in vain. From the very beginning, Alan changed his profile photo with a Twibbon in support of his choice. Nearly every day, he posted a status urging people to get involved in the campaign and offered a new, positive reason in each post. He shared relevant articles on a regular basis across multiple platforms. Through all of this, Alan tried to reach people who may otherwise not have cared and encouraged them to vote. He was never silent in this issue and Alan felt proud of that fact, in a way.

“What more could I have done?”

The fact remained that Alan’s choice had lost. Well, technically his choice won the popular vote. Alan was all the more incensed that this could happen, that such a worthy choice was overlooked, shunned by a rigged system. It seemed like such an obvious choice when compared to the other candidates that Alan couldn’t believe he even had to convince other people. Worse still he was ultimately powerless to change the outcome. What more could he have done? It slowly dawned on Alan that there was nothing more he could have done. This left him feeling empty for a moment. Until his brain kicked into gear and produced a new question.

What more can I do now?

Alan returned to his laptop, scrolling through the post-event analysis and found himself trapped in a widening spiral of blame. This group of people were wrong for ever supporting such an unpalatable option, said another group. Back and forth, the blame gets directed, never resting with any one group for too long. All manner of generational categorisations emerged in the discourse but Alan felt this was needless. In his mind, this was not a conflict of generations, it was of ideas. No person really feels like a part of a generation in any real way, do they? Alan was not convinced, yet an idea sparked and took form in his mind from all of this discussion. It was time, as previous generations at some time or other seem to do, to set about influencing and shaping the opinions and outlooks of future generations. Alan thought about this in greater depth. If this was a victory for an established generation, what could be learned from their success and recreated? 

It was clear, it was time to influence the next generation in a deliberate way, time we stop blaming the previous generation for the problems of the world, time for us to take up the task of shaming the next generation into doing what we want. We need to look at what they did well and learn from that. Some of these people are already entering the education system and we haven’t devised a cunning way to rig their expectations for life yet! We’re already behind! We need to build an economy in which only we know where the self-destruct button is. The future is developing and we’re not doing enough to manipulate its development in our favour. Let us learn from our predecessors and begin the cycle all over again. Only then could these outcomes be avoided.

No more thoughts of what might have been, Alan decided. All that remained was to re-focus for the next campaign. Someday, Alan thought, slowly regaining optimism, a generation will rise in the majority and share our views of the world. In this context, the dreams of the present could be realised. The results of recent days could be overturned. Alan was certain of this. In the future, a similar decision will come along and on this occasion, the opportunity shall not be missed. People will vote and their voices will be heard and their decision will be respected.

Looking to the future, these decisions would not face such adversity. People would not oppose the democratic will of the majority. Alan allowed himself to dream of a future where people come together on issues and work to make the right choice.

People of the world will unite and say as one: our vote is for Boaty McBoatface!