The Heart of the Matter

heart in sand
Photograph by Khadeeja Yasser

Dr Andrew Wright considers the importance of compassion in responding to the cost of living crisis, climate change and so much more…

With the Ukraine invasion and the Utility price crisis people were unsettled, worried and concerned. How would we afford to heat our homes? Would work places be lit and open?  Cost of living increases were estimated to be as high as 33%.  Things seemed to be driven by matters beyond the country’s control.  There was talk of an energy price cap but it seemed a long time before it was announced.

In amongst all the uncertainty there was compassion. The ministers knew what the electorate needed, knew their depth of worry and acted.  A price cap was eventually announced. Doubtless any other Party would have acted in a similar fashion. 

Observing the financial world in recent weeks has shown that the financiers of the world, our University Economics Departments, the media business commentators, don’t do compassion.  In short a political act based on compassion does not fit their models of the economy. 

Kindness, compassion, a care for the welfare of others are Christian virtues so members of JRI will doubtless see the sense of settling the minds of the people of Britain.  The economists don’t apparently.

Regardless of the party political aspects the action took the people’s needs into account.

At a time like this it is useful to reflect on the Beatitudes, (Matt 5) the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5).  The financial world and the media are not likely to take on board positive attitudes like  kindness, patience, compassion, but behind the political façade the addition of a little care and compassion into the situation brought a measure of calm to the fretting population.

These concepts of care, compassion, kindness are drivers of the Climate Change agenda, the drive for better antibiotics , anaesthetics, vaccines and better prosthetics in medicine-and of many other applications of science for a better future.

A little salt flavours the whole dish.

How can JRI members be salt through compassion and kindness in their own locality and workplace?

Dr Andrew Wright is a former president of JRI