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Celtic saints Heroes

No More Heroes Anymore?

Stature of a saintly figure in a bishops mitre surrounded by an iron fence set in a park. Photographed by Diane Woodrow May 2016
St Patrick in a park in Dublin – taken by myself May 2016

The title is pinch from The Stranglers’ song No More Heroes song from released in 1977, which also contains the line about Leon Trotsky which helps me to remember how he died. But that’s another story.

Last week Christine Sine in Godspace suggested doing some research around known Christian figures of the last century; for example Martin Luther King. What struck me as I pondered this was how different the tales are about modern day Christian heroes compared to the Celtic saints. Our known figures come with feet of clay and one is not afraid to mention their faults, whereas the Celtic saints were very much on the line of mythological figures who conquered all evils, including things that would lead mere mortals astray.

But I wonder have we gone to far with pointing out our leaders flaws. Yes it is good to have accountability but how often do we mention our leaders good points, the trials they struggle through, the enormous decisions they have to made every day, as well as being reminded that they are human.

The writers of the Celtic saints did not want their readers to know that these men and women were actually fallible human beings, but now our media only want to point out the fallibility of our leaders without reminding us of their good points too.

I do not think either swing of the pendulum is beneficial to the reader. With Celtic saints the reader or listener to the tales knew they could never aspire to be so amazingly godly so why try. And with our current leaders why would anyone want to be in their position when each flaw and mistake is headline news?

Perhaps we need to pendulum of judgement to swing slightly back the other way, so that yes we do see the flaws and mistakes our leaders make but we also see the struggles they do with trying to lead our world, our nation, our institutions.

For 45 years [which is suddenly a very long time since I was a quiet punk] I’ve been humming No More Heroes and through that time we have so few heroes remaining without being blown out the water. I wonder if this is what encourages to feel anxious, unable to commit, worried at who leaders us? Are they really as bad as the media has us believe? And were those Celtic saints as amazing as their publicists would have them believed to be?

Categories
Covid-19

Who will say ‘I don’t know!’

Stay-Home-Stay-Safe-Graphics-3723422-1I have been reading through headlines like I have never done in a very long time. Every morning I check what the latest death toll is, what the latest report says, what is going on in the world. What has struck me through all of this is – there are a lot of people there with opinions but no one is willing to say “I don’t know”

Journalists and opposing political parties and people in general are asking questions – why do we have no PPE for our staff? why no testing? how did it get like this? who is to blame?

What I would really love to hear is someone high up in politics answer these questions but saying – I don’t know how it started, why it got this far, why we didn’t see it coming, but you know what? We’re in this together so lets stop blaming and try and work toward a solution.

Yes I know lots of people are volunteering, helping, doing what they are told and staying home. But actually we all want answers and we all want someone to blame. For me I would say a lot of the problem in our country is that we have continually voted for a government that cuts taxes. Unfortunately cutting taxes leads to services not being able to stock pile things ‘just in case’. If last year the government had stockpiled PPE ‘just in case’ the press would have been running them down for wasting money, wasting storage space, causing a panic.

Scientists are working hard to find out how it all started, why it started and what to do about it. Chinese food markets seem to be taking the brunt of it which could be where it all started, but why now? Why this year? What changed?

I think all governments from China on through were slow to react but I do wonder if that was because they didn’t believe it would get that big. We had a couple of health care professionals staying at our house in February/March and until around 5/6th March they were saying not to worry, that it was going to be like SARS, which though bad didn’t effect this many people even without lockdown. If in February our government had ordered a lockdown then people would have been screaming ‘Police state’. Actually our government did try to get people to be adult about it but what did they do? Rushed to local beauty spots to walk, climb, hang out. I wonder if people had stayed home that weekend and behaved like adults whether things would have been different and there would have been things closed by no lockdown.

I think we like to get ‘authority figures’ to give us answers because we are all scared children in a big world we don’t get understand. If someone in charge gives us an answer and it is wrong then we can cry out like the children we are. We do not take any responsibility. The cause of this could be you and me wanting cheap food, to pay less taxes, to be able to travel the world, etc, etc. But we would not accept that answer very well.

For me I would vote for the next person who says “I don’t know but we’re working with what we have and we’re learning all the time” and “Our political party will raise taxes to pay for this, to support WHO and overseas relief, to pay our NHS and teachers.” And I will be willing to pay more for my beer, my wine, my meals out so that those hospitality staff earn a decent wage.