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Homepage Forums All forums Perspective…….

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    How do we keep perspective?
    When a friend drops dead in one international airport on the day that two bombs go off in another how do I hang onto hope and a future? What substantive hope can be offered to those devastated in the events?

    These events are all happening too fast and we need an anchor to hold us in the swirl.

    Swenson, 1995 argues in ‘Margin:Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives’ that our modern world is suffering from deficit of ‘Margin’. He may be right and we all need to take time to stop, gain some margin and only then move on. But can we afford to do that? Have we the freedom to do it? If I stop life still moves on – am I left behind? Is self management really an answer for these darker moments of life? And if it is, can I achieve it?

    Or is there a more profound achievement of margin in the GK Chesterton ‘Strangest Story in the World’? He calls us to focus on two very strange things: the true nature of the creature called man, and the true nature of the man called Jesus. But a focus on these strange things introduces ‘religion’. And the horrific events of Brussels in the last few days make us want to recoil from ‘religion’ of any sort since these atrocities are done in the name of religion. And yet, for centuries the great religious traditions – or ‘belief in a beyond me’ have provided the most compelling answers to the questions of human existence, purpose and future regardless of external circumstances. Maybe this Easter I need to focus on the hope provided by the great reversals of Easter and Spring. Despite death, severe devastating circumstances and apparent despair, Springtime and Easter remind us so forcefully of great reversals as new life emerges and hope reappears. Perspective is regained.


    Despite atrocities and crimes perpetuated around us, I found glimpses of emotions reassuring ; human beings are capable of love and joy even in most terrible circumstances.
    That video below touched my heart, I need to remember that evil has not won the battle.

    Perspective is when you can distinguish evil from goodness.


    I love your response.
    The Forum in Belfast next week is addressing the challenge of evil and suffering. We are surrounded by it and it comes in all shapes, forms and sizes. But one would have to be blind and deaf to not be aware of the refugee crisis and the appalling dilemmas facing families in the Middle East who have been forced to flee due to war and strife. Yet one young couple got married at the weekend in the camp just South of the Macedonian/Greek border. They celebrated their love and commitment to each other and all around their new family of fellow travellers brought what they could to share in their joy. The Deputy Mayor of the neighbouring town donated a wedding dress for the bride and any future brides to use… … Goodness touches us if we let it.

    Edmund Burke wrote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Is that true? There are tragedies and there are deep evils. There are deep joys also. How do we prepare for them? How do we respond to them? That’s part of what we will discuss together at the Forum in Belfast on Tuesday 17th May.

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