How is your week going? Unfortunately, I, like the great Karen Carpenter, have been talking to myself and feeling old. (Rainy days and Mondays in case you are wondering. That’s the first line. The rest of it doesn’t cheer up really). Even the fact that Aged Parent gave me her Mint Aero which she won at the Bingo (Chocolate gives me wind – you have it) has not brought me any nearer good cheer.
I have watched the media this week and like another husky-voiced songstress, Bonnie Tyler, I have wondered where all the heroes are. On an entirely useless digression, does anyone remember that “I Need a Hero” was the theme to a terrible 80s TV series in which a beautiful model type chap would flirt furiously with his widowed lady boss while fighting crime etc. etc. Despite him being quite obviously gay which meant method acting was off the menu. I think it was called “Cover Up”. Lasted one season. One season too many probably.
So, where are the Good Guys? When we sang “When a Knight Won His Spurs” at school it was considered to be a good thing to be honourable, courageous and true. Please do not write in about the problematic Crusades. I’m just trying to make a point here.
When I was young, if people, especially people in public life made a big cock up – when they were proved to have been negligent – they resigned. This will be astonishing to young people. It never happens now. This week the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson took his abject failure to provide anything like a credible results service to the young people of this country as an opportunity to arrange a photo-shoot behind his desk which was adorned with a bullwhip. (For one moment I thought his ego had allowed him to imagine he reminded us of Indiana Jones – trust me, no-one looked like Harrison Ford in that movie – no-one). But apparently it was because he used to be The Chief Whip or something. Anyway, resignation does not seem to be on the cards.
Also in my day cronyism or jobs for the boys or nepotism whatever you would like to call it was considered bad form. Now we can close whole science departments down, set up new ones and give them to our friend Dido Harding to run (Apparently, giving it to to a scientist to run was a no go). See also Liz Truss/Michael Gove etc.
Then when a young man commits an atrocity at the Manchester Arena where 22 people die, and he doesn’t feel the need to attend the sentencing or listen to the witness statements of the bereaved, he doesn’t have to. Perhaps he is a coward, perhaps he had something more pressing on. I can’t help thinking that I would have been happy to fireman’s lift him up into the courtroom myself but he does have rights and I understand that. But to attend and look these people in the eye would have been the right thing to do.
The lines around right behaviour seem more blurry these days. There doesn’t even seem to be a pretence that you are at least giving it a go. I don’t know if it makes you more or less cheered if I told you that even as far back as Ezekiel in The Old Testament, God was looking for people to do the right thing. (How far back is was Ezekiel? Not sure really – Old Testament – long way back – certainly further than Jimmy Tarbuck)
I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defences of the city, to take a stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land…I couldn’t find anyone. Not one.
Thing is though. He didn’t give up. Not on me. Not on you. Not on the principles of there being a right thing to do. I’m not saying everything in the olden days was good – see press-gangs, rickets, Terry and June. And I am aware that lots of dastardly people used laws and justice to do very unjust things. All I’m saying is that right is still right, honour has not left the earth and all the original instructions on how to live still stand.
But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,
what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbour,
be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously—
take God seriously.
There you go. Be of good cheer and follow this – not all that other stuff. You’ll feel better for it.