We were very sad to post an entry on our Facebook and Twitter accounts this week about the death of Tony Award-winning deaf actress Phyllis Frelich who starred in the Broadway version of “Children of a Lesser God”.
This headline got me thinking on another level – I suppose the title of the play and subsequent film resonated with me as we progress through Holy Week. “What?” I hear you all cry! In an apparently Christian country we have forgotten the Church calendar – Lent has given way to Pancake Day, Ash Wednesday is unheard of outside of the Catholic Church, people may remember Maundy Thursday (but probably only if the Maundy Service is shown on the BBC News as the Monarch distributes the traditional silver coins), Good Friday and Easter Monday are just another two days off work in the procession of Public & Bank Holidays and who ever remembers that the shops NEVER open on Easter Sunday?
Please do not misunderstand me, I am far from a regular Church-goer myself, but in this secular society we seem to have chosen for ourselves, care and compassion for our fellow human beings do seem to have fallen by the wayside. Where is the Good Samaritan when you need him (or her for that matter)?
Please do not misunderstand me; there are some lovely stories in the Press about “have-a-go heroes” who have each made the headlines with some rare and spectacular act of bravery. However, these people generally make headlines because what they do is so unusual. We also unfortunately read many stories in the same papers about tragedies which have occurred precisely because people are too worried about being labelled as interfering busybodies for daring to intervene in potentially dangerous or unpleasant situations which unfold in front of them. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the fear of public rebuke often stops us from simply doing the right thing. We would do well to remember the wise words of one Edmund Burke, an 18th Century Irish political philosopher, who memorably stated that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing”. I suspect that we are all a little guilty of this at times?
Whatever our individual religious beliefs and views, it would be nice if we could all take this advice on board during this sometimes neglected entry in the Church calendar – wouldn’t the World be a nicer place for us all to live in if we just took a moment to think of the wider implications of our (mis)deeds and (in)actions from time to time? Again, please do not misunderstand me, I am aware that Utopia exists only between the pages of a 16th Century work by Sir Thomas More, and is a place that none of us is likely to reside any time soon, but a little human compassion goes a long way and we all have that Good Samaritan inside us, don’t we?
Now, would somebody please pass the chocolate Easter Egg….