Which ideas will endure for at least another century?" was one of the questions we were posed at a thought-provoking conference over the weekend. We considered and dismissed democracy – in the past century, it's been overthrown by communism, fascism and autocracy – and capitalism, which even now seems a little under threat. One concept, though, kept bubbling up into my mind: love.
Whether you worship the Beatles or the Bible doesn't matter. Love is either all you need or it's greater even than faith and hope, and all three will endure. It's the biggest contributor to human happiness, and if politicians dare to intrude into our love lives, they can have a more profound effect than any tinkering with taxes or the national curriculum. Which is why women and gay men should be deeply grateful that, in this era, we live in Britain and not the United States.
In this country, people have become increasingly freer to love whom they like and to live how they like. Tolerance of homosexuality in particular has blossomed in the past couple of decades, making the country strikingly more generous. It's been a really big and welcome cultural change. » | Mary Ann Sieghart | Monday, March 12, 2012