Finally, I got around to writing my letter to the future Scotland.
You should do so too. Find out more at http://www.dearestscotland.com
Please look after my children. They will no doubt spend much more of their lives in your care than in mine.
Clearly, I won’t live forever but will you?
I had hoped that as my youngest daughter took her first steps that you too, would be taking your first steps as a newly re-established nation-state.
It seems that we all have much work to do to help you learn to walk and walk tall again.
That work, like the work of a parent, takes place every day. It is in the daily actions we take that shape the lives we lead and the people we become – and it is the sum of these that makes the Scotland we have and the Scotland you will become.
You face many challenges my friend.
The pessimism of my intellect suggests that the inequality, the pollutants we place in our environment (and those we place in our bodies and minds) will hold you back.
Just as your land is scarred from the motion of ancient ice, your people are scarred from the inaction of modern politicians.
Your people are all equal, all different, all human. Too often though, many of your children face inequality based upon those differences and treatment that is all too inhuman.
You are a country of riches, yet one of unfairness.
For too many Scots, hatred is directed at victims of poverty not at the culprits.
For too many Scots, tolerance is about putting up with others and not including them.
For too many Scots, the drive into despair not only continues, it accelerates.
Despite this, the optimism in my heart looks at you and knows that the best Scotland is yet to come, and moreover that we get to make it.
It is in our hands, through the daily actions we take that can and must shape that better Scotland.
Politics is made by people. It can be changed by people.
We can learn to hate inequality instead of hating its victims.
We can learn to hate racism instead of hating those with a different background.
We can learn to devote more attention to social justice than criminal justice.
We can learn that what we claim as our culture, our heritage, our language can never be diminished through helping others to enjoy theirs. Indeed, when we mix these things the sum is even greater than the parts.
We can learn that big community trumps big business each and every time.
My role as a parent is to help equip my children with the knowledge, skills and wisdom to help you become that better Scotland.
My dear Scotland, you owe me nothing and I owe you so much. You have been my home and have shaped my identity and my values.
So, not for me but for my children. Be what I hope they become: a better version of what has gone before.