Within the last few weeks we received guidance and advice from all our cultural, political and spiritual leaders about how we should live our lives, now and in the future. Did anyone listen to their Christmas messages? Perhaps, but was it good advice and more importantly, will people actually change in any way?
At Christmas HM The Queen espoused the value of sport in our society and reminded us; “it is as important as ever to build communities and create harmony”. In his ‘Ecumenical Christmas letter’ The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, concentrated on religion. Our Prime Minister offered thanks to the troops in Afghanistan, whilst His Holiness The Pope (in my opinion) intimated; belief in God will cure-all ills in society and put an end to all conflict in the world (read more)? A highly commendable concept and a wonderful belief but totally unrealistic. It is one destined to failure and unlikely to achieve reality simply because; it is totally reliant upon the inherent tolerance and compassion of people, personal traits often sadly lacking.
As people who have read my blog in the past will be aware; I’m not a religious person. That said, I often feel affinity with some of the (usually) realistic stuff that comes from Dr. John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York. In his Christmas message he reminded us all to; ‘Remember it is Christmas not ‘Stress-mas’…
The short message may in reality have been another religious one however; the latter part about taking things “slower and appreciate what God” (or whoever) “has given you” is the comment which is so important. We spend all our time racing around, metaphorically stabbing our peers in the back for personal gain and, spending very little time or effort thinking or acting upon the plight of others.
So what value another rallying call from our Prime Minister at the start of a new year?
We can but hope? All the carefully thought out messages at the turn of each year are; Political Rhetoric / PR spin / Sound Advice / Deluded Junk / Worthwhile Guidance / Pius Religious Nonsense / self-indulgent pompousness (Delete as appropriate)?
So we’ve had our brief period of excess, exercised a little (false) goodwill to all men and blocked out life’s distasteful realities with a good dose of self-indulgence. We’ve welcomed in the new year and looked to the future with our family and friends and, whilst we move onwards into 2011 under a big bang and hail of fireworks, I can’t help thinking any real change in humanity and our society will be more reminiscent of the pffft from a damp squib!
Happy New year, whatever it may bring you!