I have just completed our household census for 2021 and added my signature. All the time I have been working on it, I have kept wondering if one day, one of my distant descendants in a 100 years time might be eagerly reading the same digitised document and wondering about the names of the people and the details which appear here.
What possible picture will they paint from these sparse and often quite stilted entries? In my turn, I have often sat looking at the even more meagre information provided on census forms from the past as I worked on tracing my own ancestors. Tricky things are words – they can be interpreted in so many different ways. They can convey so much or say nothing at all… or give a totally erroneous impression.
And what will people think of us in a hundred years from now? The world which struggled with the global pandemic? The society which pulled together, suffered so much, squabbled, objected, sacrificed, struggled, grieved, loved and won through – or lost… What kind of a world shall we rebuild now, on the back of all this challenging upheaval? It really shouldn’t just come about by accident; it is something we should all think about carefully, plan and put into action. We all have a responsibility. We need to make it something which future generations can look back on and be proud of.
At this time of the Vernal (spring) Equinox, we seek harmony and balance… we celebrate the spring season and the coming of the lighter, warmer half of the year. We make plans for the summer. What else – of a more lasting and fundamental importance – can we decide upon and bring into being?
Sign your census forms with great mindful presence – it is not simply providing information for our authorities now – it is a snapshot of our time… today… which will speak to the future. we are composing living history… now.