If you wish we had a more ‘caring’, left-wing government than the one we’ve voted for, there are several things you can do to make yourself happier.
These don’t involve bemoaning your fellow citizens’ selfishness and stupidity.
Calling people names rarely makes you feel better and doesn’t actually change anything. And the people will still be selfish and stupid – no matter what you say.
Getting drunk, taking drugs, watching live comedy, having orgasms or even eating chocolate are legitimate ways of making yourself happier – but my list doesn’t involve any of these. You can do these as well!
How good is that?
Why not try one of these ways to recover from 7 May 2015?
1. If you wanted the government to raise taxes to pay for better health care, overseas aid or any other issue you believe in, start contributing more from your pay to charities. Either that, or wait for five years to see if we vote for a government that will raise them. You’ll probably feel more empowered if you do something positive now.
2. Join a political party. A 20 year old SNP candidate who’s still doing her university finals will be sitting in the new House of Commons, so it’s possible to follow your political dreams.
Electoral politics isn’t for everyone – I’ve worked for an MP and found the experience terrifying. But you may enjoy it. Why not give it a try? You could be brilliant at it.
And if the mainstream political parties make you queasy, there are others like the recently-formed Women’s Equality party. One of its founders Sandi Todsvik was fed up of being fed up and has even given up her fantastic job on Radio 4’s News Quiz to help establish this party.
3. Start being nicer to people. Smile if someone smiles at you. Hold doors open – even if the person is still 10 metres away and limping. Give your seat up on the bus for someone who’s younger than you. Have a chat to the Big Issue seller instead of avoiding his or her gaze. Little bits of kindness make the giver and receiver happier. They just do.
4. Do something really positive and of immediately huge benefit to others – like giving blood. Giving blood is a lovely way to feel connected to your fellows – even UKIP supporters need blood transfusions in the operating theatre.
5. Find a cause you believe in and find fellow travellers on the road to your own personal utopia. You’d be surprised how many groups exist for all manner of causes and interests. Volunteer at a local hospice. Help kids with their reading at a local school. Pick up litter for a couple of hours a day, like the eccentric and lovely David Sedaris.
If some of this sounds like a call to fill the gaps of an underfunded welfare state, then ask yourself what you’re going to do to make the world better now the gaps aren’t going to be filled by the state.
I’m as gutted as the next person that our society is run by – and on behalf of – a small club.
I came close to some of its elements when I studied at David Cameron’s old Oxford college. They’re horrendous, arrogant and the true manifestation of the ‘entitlement culture’.
But that’s the way things are for now. If you’re disappointed and depressed that the UK has another Conservative government, you can bemoan it and do nothing – feeling both alienated and impotent.
Or you can use whatever motivation, talent and resources you have to make the world a slightly better place today.
I know which will make you – and others – a bit happier.