REV DAVID FAREY: We should not be blinkered when it comes to compassion

David Farey SUS-160113-102615001
David Farey SUS-160113-102615001

We live in a world of changing perceptions. Last week in London four people were killed by a man with evil intent.

This mother’s son has had facts about his life broadcast around the world for all to see; his life growing up in Sussex and even interviews with neighbours.

Every day has seen some new revelation about the incident and we would be forgiven for thinking it was the only terrorist incident last week.

How we perceive the world around us though can affect how we behave, and what we perceive can depend upon what we are fed.

Last week we were all reeling from this attack in London at the heart of our democracy.

People were in the wrong place at the wrong time and became victims. Lives were wasted and we react with shock and horror.

News reports focussed upon the attack.

But what about the eighty three others who were brutally killed and one hundred and fifty injured last week around the world in terrorist related incidents? I don’t recall these being reported.

Forty three killed in Nigeria, twenty-five in Baghdad apart from those in Afghanistan, Somalia and Bangladesh. Perhaps we have become hardened to the horror until it affects us.

I also caught some of the Red Nose Day broadcast in the evening and was struck by one of the reports on a hospital in Africa.

It pulled no punches about the horror of child mortality.

It struck me that just a few years ago the reports were less explicit and were carefully edited to avoid the unpleasant truths.

There is an odd contrast here. On the one hand we need to be exposed to scenes that are ever increasingly explicit in order to move us; in the case of Red Nose Day in order to generate a greater financial response.

On the other hand a choice is being made about what terrorist atrocities we are made aware of.

Last week in our country saw a vast and justifiable outpouring of grief for a handful of people, whilst little grief was spent on the scores killed and the hundreds injured by similar and worse atrocities in other parts of the world.

There is a danger that only those ones are selected which have direct impact upon us, but the information is out there for those who want to know.

A hallmark of Christianity, and a foundation of our Britishness is that we care for all and we should all do what we can to ensure that we are not blinkered in the expression of compassion and care for everyone on our planet.