BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 16 February 2005

 

I’ve discovered something alarming.  I’m gradually turning into Victor Meldrew.  Hardly a day passes but something trivial exasperates me:

·        Supermarkets that sell Hot Cross Buns all year round.  What’s wrong about reserving them for Good Friday?

·        Headlines like “Police arrest Sharon suspect”.  Who is Sharon, and how come I’m supposed to know who this particular Sharon is, let alone know what happened to her?

·        Some bloke in a flat cap driving his little grey car at 19 miles an hour down the 40 mph Lutterworth Road and making me late for this broadcast.  You know who you are!

·        Why should pubs that have happily been known as the “Rose and Crown” or the “Red Lion” for centuries be renamed “O’Shaughnessy’s Irish Bar” or, (Lord preserve us!) “The Sausage and Undertaker”?

·        Baseball-hatted youths with 2000-watt loudspeakers in their twentyfive year old Vauxhall Novas imagining that anyone standing within quarter of a mile yearns to share their choice of what passes for music.

·        BAFTAs, GRAMMYs, OSCARs, BRITs and so on.  Famous people who have already been paid highly for doing their jobs don’t merit further awards.  And that goes for MBEs and OBEs and knighthoods too.

I could go on, and my wife says I certainly do!

 

Ah well, such is modern life.  But there is another side to the coin.  There are plenty of blessings in this modern life, in the prosperous West, at any rate.  Most people can read and write.  We live longer and healthier lives than any previous generation.  War has hardly touched Europe for sixty years.  We have more comforts in life than ever before.  Most people have access to a washing machine, inside toilets, a television, a car.  You certainly have a radio, else how come you’re hearing this broadcast? 

 

But wealth alone doesn’t bring happiness.  St Paul knew this.  He said I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.[1] 

 

So the challenge for today is this.  When you bridle at some fatuous stupidity of modern life, balance it with something to be grateful for.  That’s the secret of contentment.

 

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[1] Philippians 4:12 (NIV)