Friday, 25 March 2011
Who Am I To Moan
Seventy-nine hours of sunshine so far in Shropshire this month! And I feel I have been out in every one of them. For those of you who live in countries where you can rely on your annual quota of sunshine this probably means nothing, but for the inhabitants of the South Shropshire Hills, where mist, rain and grey skies seemingly hang about forever, it is the difference between slouching from place to place, head down in misery and a spring in the step and a smile for everyone.
So, who am I to moan.
I live in a part of the world which is not shaken by earthquakes, which suffers no tsunamis, which does not groan under the heel of a tyrant; water and food are plentiful, I have a house to live in, a roof over my head. My loved ones are safe, we need not cower and hide from bombs or guns, we can speak our mind freely. If we don't like our government - and who ever does? - we simply say so at an election, where we can freely exercise our civic right, without let or hindrance. Many of us take this right so much for granted that we ignore it, we hardly even bother to go to the polls. We make it a national hobby to complain about the weather, we moan about the rain, we say "They" should stop rivers bursting their banks and then we go and build houses on floodplains.
All we need to do is look around us and see, really take in, what is happening in so many parts of the world at the moment, the suffering of innocents; read Anne Thomas' blog from Sendai, about the quiet dignity of the people of Japan and the truly inspirational way they are dealing with the greatest catastrophe the country has suffered since WWII; watch the pictures from North Africa and hear the voices of doctors and other medical staff who are working under impossible conditions in shelled and damaged hospitals.
We have so much to be thankful for.
I am not really one for homilies and wagging forefingers; I do my share of moaning and complaining; but for me the mood of the moment is one of gratitude and humility; I would urge a spirit of compassion on all of us and for all of us to let this spirit guide us to do all we can, be it ever so little, to help alleviate the suffering of the innocents.