Categories
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
blessing inconvenience

Inconvenience?

Both the above pictures are taken about half a mile from my house. My town is “on the map” now due to I’m A Celebrity being shot at Gwrych Castle. Both images have had an effect on my town. But it has got me thinking – “what is an inconvenience and what is a blessing?” Or does it depend where you are standing?

The publicity has been awesome. No longer is the town just a sign off of the A55 but is known. We can now say we live in the town where I’m a Celeb is filmed. House prices have gone up, shops have opened, and according to the local council trade has been brought into the town. With people deciding that a holiday in the UK is better than facing the rigmarole of covid testing going abroad it is great to know that Abergele now figures in their choices.

But also, as can be seen from the first picture things are not all flames, fireworks and income. There are footpath closures, pavements blocked, a favorite walk of mine has had to be curtailed until the end of December, and a speed limit of 20mph has been imposed by the castle and 30 along a 60mph road. All to keep people safe. But also inconvenient.

This has got me thinking of how people deal with things they disagree on – not just the minor disagreements in my town but across the world; in governments, with climate change, in businesses, in relationships. How often when two sides to come together to reconcile they actually spend more time putting over their point of view and listening to the other. Or if they do listen it is for just long enough to be able come up with a counter argument. Not really listening to others. Each side would be wanting to brow beat the other into agreeing with them wants to be proved right and the other sides to be wrong. There is no time for understanding.

I think it is why the story in Genesis talks of man eating from the Tree of Good and Evil, because mankind wants to put things in good and bad boxes, whereas if we chose the Tree of Life then, I believe we would hear what the other side was feeling, not just saying, and would try to care more.

As for my town – I love it being a place people now know where it is, I love that things are being done to improve the town, and I hope they continue after covid has stopped being such a big threat and I’m a Celeb goes back to Australia, but also I do find the blocked footpaths and the speed limit frustrating. Is it it good or bad? I don’t think so at all. I am learning that sometimes things just are and I need to accept that.

So my hope is for those on different sides of a fence that they would look and see that on each side there is a human being working through things with their own issues, needs, fears, and desires. Not right, not wrong, but just as it is.