“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Reality Check

I've just got back from the cinema. My daughter and I went to see 12 Years A Slave. I'm not surprised it has been winning awards - the acting and direction were extremely high quality. Which of course meant that the story was distressingly real, and graphically violent. 

I admit it, I'm an ostrich by inclination; I would much rather not see such films. I know that it was set in the 1840s, but I also know that slavery is alive and well the world over, today, including here in the UK. And seeing this powerful and moving film has brought it back to the front of my mind.

I think it was TS Eliot who wrote "Humankind cannot bear very much reality", and in my case, he was right. Sometimes the ills and sorrows of the world seem too much to think about, because I can do so little to change them. 

But ... "Still I am one, and I will not refuse to do the something I can do." And it is also true, that as 18th century statesman Edmund Burke wrote: " The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." So doing nothing is not an option.

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