Have taken far too much time watching the football. I have managed to fall out of the small routine that I have in the evenings and I am doing my own head in. It surprises me how it only takes a little disruption – like watching 22 men play the beautiful game and it being available nearly every night – to throw me off my little but still quite important evening routines. These are the routines that ensure that I get stuff done such as making sure everything is ready for work next morning so I don’t find myself frantically ironing a work shirt on the kitchen counter while trying to make my lunch sandwich and avoiding getting mayonnaise on said shirt. These are the routines that get writing written, dogs walked, menus planned and families nagged. They are annoying but they are important and I have to remind myself that I am a grown up now and need to buck up. Goodness knows what my life would have been like if I had lived during the time of say..”Lark Rise To Candleford” (the book not the wishy-washy TV series.) In those days every waking moment seemed to be devoted to work to stay alive. My family would have wasted down to nothing years before now. Anyway, the football is nearly finished now so back on the wagon as they say.
The title of this blog is part of the phrase “Tarring everybody with the same brush.” I don’t know if it is just a northern phrase and I’m sure it’s roots are quite unsavory but it was the only thing I can think of. Look, if you want literary depth try Shakespeare or Jilly Cooper or something.
I had been thinking about it while reading all the stuff about bankers. It is terrible to me how these people could bring us to the point of financial meltdown by using techniques that were both immoral and, it now seems, illegal. In another age we would have dragged these people to stocks or possibly guillotines. I am not recommending this as a punishment but the lack of accountability is almost as shocking as the things that have been done. However, I was earwigging in a queue this week and heard of someone going into a bank and having a go at the girl behind the counter which concluded with a phrase along the lines of “you ******* cheating bankers are all the same!”
I worked in a bank for fifteen years. I have many friends who work in banks. These are nice, normal people who would no more illegally fix an interest rate than they would boil their own heads. Many of them will be able to tell you stories about the time they were called to meetings to be told that the old culture of service, relationship and good stewardship were now to be ditched in favour of sales and oh yes.. selling. I remember people with thirty years of service being told that if they didn’t like it then they needed to find somewhere else to work. These decisions had been made by people as alien to them as something bursting out of John Hurt’s belly – yet they all go under the title of “bankers”. And not everyone who works in banking sales is a twonk. Some people are though – and some are not. It’s an individual thing.
Christians suffer the same problem. If you say you are a Christian, people sometimes see you as a right wing, gay bashing, crusade approving, cheek sucking in, generally disapproving kind of person or as a pathetic softy who uses Christianity as a crutch and won’t face up to the realities of life. I wouldn’t say that I am either but you might disagree. Then again, you may know a Christian who is like the description above and have therefore decided that this is how all Christians are. Some people judge all Christians by a bad thing that was done to them by a Christian once. Is that not like judging all Mexicans by a bad thing that was done by a Mexican once? I may be a Christian chump. It doesn’t mean that my Christian friend is. Some Christians are as bad. She’s not spiritual enough because I saw her in the pub. He’s too into his own holy hole to be of any use to the church. You know the sort of thing. Being judgy is a tricky business. By tarring everyone with the same brush you might be missing out on good people and a different point of view. The banking crisis is a sad state of affairs with many innocent victims. Lots of them may have the words “bank clerk” in their job description. Be kind.
Phillipians 4 The Message
You’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worse.