BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 25 June 2008

 

RESPECT

 

Last weekend, an atrocity was carried out at Blaby’s Thistly Meadow School.  Four adult rabbits and 12 chickens were bludgeoned to death, and then seven baby rabbits were trampled to death.  Lost for adequate words, people have been calling the perpetrators “sick” and “wicked”, and “evil”.  It certainly rouses the rest of us to mighty anger to see defenceless creatures cruelly killed for no reason.  We want the perpetrators caught and punished.

 

Then in New Parks on Sunday, as policemen and paramedics tried to help two badly injured youths who had crashed their motorbike, a gang of riotous local louts tried to pull them away from helping.

 

And so yet again, we are left wringing our hands in despair at the sheer lack of humanity of the people involved in these two unrelated incidents.  Are we witnessing a retreat back down the evolutionary ladder?  Are we reverting to Neanderthal levels of behaviour?  What’s to be done?

 

I suggest that the way forward is the way back.  Respect needs to be restored to the core of our community.  Respect for others; respect for the whole of God’s creation, the animals, the plants, the environment; respect for the community; respect for ourselves.  And that means cutting out the small things: the swearing; the discarded fag-end; the binge drinking; the thoughtless racism and ageism and sexism; and most of all, the me-me-me culture.

 

In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He set out what’s been called the “Golden Rule”: in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you[1].  And that says everything about how we should live, and how we should teach our children.  Let’s pray it’s not too late to follow Jesus’ rule.



[1] Matthew 7:12 (NIVUK)