Wondering Wednesdays – wellbeing on the agenda?

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The definition of wellbeing below is 10 years old and from an official government publication – if only the past ten years had been spent by politicians of all parties actually looking at how they might enhance the wellbeing of all their citizens. I rarely make overt political statements on my blog but my first degree was in social policy and I studied in particular social policy in relation to children and as an election was announced yesterday I long to see manifestos which take seriously enhancing wellbeing particularly for those who are the most marginalized. The emergence of the Welfare State in the 1940s was a gamechanger for so many and I grieve so much seeing it being whittled away, the safety net getting holes in it, the hope of wellbeing for all fading as policies seem to privilege the rich over the poor at times. This is not a party political statement at all – but the outworking of theological beliefs – I grew up with verses such as this (Isaiah 1.17) learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow and was taught as a teenager that Christians should always try to make a difference in the world.

Wellbeing:
a positive physical, social and mental state; it is not just the absence of pain, discomfort and incapacity. It requires that basic needs are met, that individuals have a sense of purpose, that they feel able to achieve important personal goals and participate in society. It is enhanced by conditions that include supportive personal relationships, strong and inclusive communities, good health, financial and personal security, rewarding employment, and a healthy and attractive environment.
DEFRA. Sustainable development indicators in your pocket 2007 (London: HMSO, 2007) p 9.

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