Being Monday, it is my Day Off. I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy the sense of having a day when there is no pressure to either tidy up or do any chores. However, there are certain things that are mandatory:
- Order up any medications I am running out of.
- Walk Misty
- Make up my weekly medications box
And whilst I am making up the meds box I tend to listen to Radio 4 and its topics of the day. Unfortunately, today’s topic was about the grooming of under-age young women. Or to be specific – paedophilia and large-scale abuse. There was a heart-rending interview with the father of a girl who had been lured into such a situation. I realised that I was picking up on his anger and helplessness, which in turn made me remember part of the reason I had gradually stopped blogging a few months ago.
The point was that I had found myself feeling that it was important to comment on the daily news. Now this may have been appropriate when I was working as a parish minister, but as a retiree all that was happening was that I felt more and more inadequate. Whatever I tried to do, the anger was coming through on my blog. The only way to break the circle was to stop the blogging for a while and give my mind a chance to recover.
So what am I trying to say? The death of Nelson Mandela has reminded the world of an alternative way to look at the world. In his young days, Mandela believed in violence and anger along with justice and the importance of political freedom. After 27 years in prison, he left his anger behind and was able to forgive his captors and to actively negotiate a lasting peace coupled with freedom and justice for all. In the seemingly impossible world of apartheid he found his way into a new order for his country.
Only Mandela could forgive his captors, and in the same way only the girl known as Girl A, could try and work towards some kind of healing through peace and reconciliation and forgiveness. For her father, it was an impossibility. It is not my place to forgive the abuser of another, instead I find myself trapped in the Christian imperative of forgiveness. And it often seems too much. However, the alternative is an anger and a hatred that grows and infects others and damages everyone around, including myself.
I sat down to write about giving up on reporting hard things. I find myself becoming the subject of the report. As Mandela said -
Education is the most powerful weapon
which you can use to change the world.
And always, always, always………….. education starts with the self. I am not here to give answers, I am here to tell the story of Dalamory……… today, it is all about ethics and justice and freedom…….. and I hope that God is smiling as I try to learn and understand.