Sunday, 16 December 2018

Thought for the week

MAGNA Carta, Agincourt, Waterloo, VE day: this year we shall have had quite a  run of

MAGNA Carta, Agincourt, Waterloo, VE day: this year we shall have had quite a  run of anniversaries to  commemorate.

They recall adversity overcome and a people’s historic gradual evolution to become a democratic freedom—loving nation—state.

That outcome may not always have been the one intended by the victors or uppermost in their minds but somehow ideas were sown during those struggles in the minds of individuals and groups which would ultimately improve immeasurably the lives of countless numbers.

Notions of the full range of human rights and the dignity of human beings were not always the primary concerns of those who led or engaged in these epic struggles. 

But for the most part they were motivated by a sense of right and wrong inherited from the millennial tradition of faith and morality which had helped to mould an   ethnically diverse people  into a cohesive social and political unity.

Yes, there was unfair and unjust discrimination, desperate poverty, ignorance and unwarranted privilege. But each conflict and its consequences shaped and inspired victors and vanquished to new foundations of common interest and community welfare.

Today, the challenges we face are massively complex. Our age is defined by multiple threats to peace and freedom and the rights of people much less easy to engage and target.

Formidable waves of immigrants to our shores created by former disasters and tragedies are being replicated in the thousands of dispossessed seeking similar refuge in our day.

How are we to match this colossal wave of hostility on the one hand and necessity  of its victims and refugees on the other with a strategy  as appropriate as those devised in the past?

Perhaps we do not appreciate the reserves of spiritual and humanitarian energy and enterprise still latent in our native character and still capable of rising to such tasks and findingthe courage and the capacity to bring order and resolution to the chaos.

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