Driving today for the first time in a while over to Sedbergh to say Mass, I crossed over the M6 and then swiftly you come to one of the most beautiful views in the country overlooking the Lune valley and Sedbergh. It is the proverbial jigsaw picture. Then I give thanks that I live in such an amazing place. Seeing the NHS workers and others being so well-received and thanked, and the ways in which people have helped each other over this crisis also fills you with sense of hope for the future. You can love your country at this point. But then I watched ‘Sitting in limbo’ which I had recorded, about the effect of government policies on those who came here on the Empire Windrush from the West Indies to work , and you can only be filled with shame that this is the same country and that people we elected and employ can behave in such a way. In one sense you can simply say, well that is the complexity of humanity, good and bad, which it is, but it is concerning when people cannot see, or pretend not to, or just accept it when they are told it is OK, that they are no longer treating fellow human beings as they deserve; that marrs the beauty of any scenery.
One thought on “12th July. Love and shame”
Sadly (in my view) it is found to be difficult for far too many (again in my view) people to appreciate that it is both unfair and inappropriate to judge any behaviour in the light of 2020 rather than in the context of the date in which it took place.
Just one example, physical brutality that occurred at a time when, before the marvellous progress in medicine we enjoy, pain was a normal part of everyday life at every level of society should not be judged as it is today.
I well remember listening to my late father, born in 1896, and his elder sister discussing whether, or not, the world was a better place than in their childhood. (Papa remembered Queen Victoria’s funeral!) They had both served in both World Wars and had had a wide experience of life at many levels. Their conclusion was that it was far better – why? – because of increasing compassion.
If we consider life from an historical perspective it is clear that compassion continues to grow, and is more widely spread than at any previous time, sometimes in the most unexpected places, thanks to our loving Father God.