Reflections on a Murder
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Reflections on the Murder of Jo Cox, MP


In my view, the brutal murder of Jo Cox in her constituency, has created the conditions for an incredible reality check in the nation's consciousness. It is as though our moral imperative for fairness, compassion and justice, which had been slumbering, has been violently awakened. It is tragic that it takes the loss of such a profoundly good, authentic, dedicated politician to cause us to reflect on what is profoundly important to us as human beings.

Coincidently, I have been immersing my values thinking on the concept of altruism, which I believe can be thought of as a super-value. To explain, when children are inducted into an ethical vocabulary, based on universal human values such as trust, fairness, tolerance, honesty and courage, they develop the capacity for altruistic thinking and behaviour. Jo's life demonstrates this super-value in practice, as she focused her concerns for people other than herself.

I would define Altruism as:

"Unselfish joy in focusing our actions on the well-being of others."

Values-based schools create the conditions for altruism to grow and flourish, becoming a lasting character trait. Jo, as an altruist, had a unique way of seeing things: where most people see a stranger (refugee), she (the altruist) saw a fellow human being.

My hope is that Jo Cox's legacy will be her outstanding example of what it means to be human, which I hope will encourage others to develop an altruistic perspective in their lives, thereby helping to create a more compassionate society.


Dr. Neil Hawkes
International Values-based Trust (IVET)