Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Good versus Evil?

A time for reflection on the subject of why people riot is called for I think.  Firstly there is a difference between rioting and marching. A peaceful demonstration of discontent is quite different from a screaming mob seizing the opportunity to loot and damage people.
The original reason for anger, the shooting of a boy in custody has long been dissipated. We are now seeing copycats all over the country trying to cash in either for profit or for the adrenalin rush it brings.
Two things from yesterday struck me.
One was the video of the elderly woman trying to explain to  young men why it was wrong to trash shops which had been set up by people trying to make a living. The courage it took to stand in front of a baying crowd was tremendous. She deserves a medal.
The other image which will stay with me for a very long time was that of the boys stealing from the bag of a young lad who'd been injured. At first you thought they were going to help him. Then it became clear they were just going to rob him.
Its too easy to ask what has happened to our young people....there are so many reasons why anarchy is an easy option I think.
Its true that respect seems to be left out of our daily lives. In school there are virtually no useful sanctions to employ  if the children get out of hand.
I am not advocating bringing back the birch here as my husband did in the local post office this morning!
But the politically correct brigade have made it impossible to actually discipline naughty children in school.
Good teachers have always been able to stop unruly children in the classroom but when I taught in Essex I found that children had been allowed to get away with behaviour impossible to imagine at the start of my teaching career.
This is not intended as a sort of complaint from an old woman that things are  not like they were when I was young...there lots of things since then that have made life much better  for us all. It is a genuine need to try to understand what is going wrong.
Its too easy to blame the government, the teachers, the churches...we all have individual responsibility to keep the peace...
Two things yesterday ran side by side on Twitter.   Team Poison tried to stir up other young people to get out and create havoc, Team Clean up called for volunteers to get out and make the streets clean and safe again.
It was an epic playing out of good versus evil...and I believe that good did win  and will go on winning .
I hope so       I am praying.


  1. The concept of good and evil is absent from our society. It's about individualism, self and rights, their rights, not anyone else's.

    We've built this society for ourselves, perhaps my generation of baby boomer's are partly to blame, the restrictions imposed in the fifties, traditional respect for authority and our elders, was thrown out in the swinging sixties, free love, drugs, and anything goes. Subsequent generations have taken this a bit further, until we have arrived at the situation where there are no boundaries.

    In the sixties, I joined the Army, exchanging, freedom for free housing, feeding, adventure and seeing the world. I loved it and until Northern Ireland kicked off, thought that I had the best of it. Than I realised that soldiering wasn't about pleasure. We had to actually go and preserve peace and get between fighting factions, in a situation, where mutual antipathy went back centuries. We had a war on our hands, that lasted 30 years. Subsequent conflicts have shown me that life is to precious to sacrifice unless its for your mates, comrades, or I suppose for your country. We need to make the best of things for all, to try to prevent war, not cause it.

    It has also given me the concept of evil as something real, something which can overpower and can affect how we behave and perceive others. I'm sure what is happening at the moment is purely driven by evil, whatever label the woolly types might want to apply to it or to make excuses for it.

    The obverse of it is Good, and the power of God within it. Good is a vital force, which is within all of us, it just needs to be found, encouraged, nurtured and taught throughout childhood. Blended with a sense of self awareness and self discipline, it can overpower evil within each of us and united, in the world.

    What is clear to me from the news and the actions of the #riotcleanup campaign, that evil is and will be overcome by the good. And that is the aim of my prayers.

  2. Mine too Ernie. Thanks for that. As an ex army man it must be galling to see the lack of law and order just now.