How Large Is Our Circle?

Terrestrial globe

Yesterday, when winds were high and seas rough, a small boat capsized off the coast of Dunkirk. Among those who lost their lives were children aged 8 and 5. A baby is also believed to have drowned, while some of the 15 people who were rescued are critically ill. Some have dismissed the tragedy with a call for stricter controls on immigration, while others have merely noted that the number of migrants crossing the English Channel in this way is over 7,000 this year, four times the total of previous years. At the same time, a row continues to rumble about whether children in need should be given free school meals during the half-term break. I cannot bring myself to repeat some of the things said or written by those who cling to the notion of the feckless poor being responsible for their own troubles. Hungry children are hungry children in my book, and we have a duty to look after them. But whether we are talking about migrants to Britain or British children, we are talking about people, human beings like ourselves.

One feature of the abandonment of globalism has been the adoption of fundamentally selfish policies by both individuals and governments. ‘What’s best for me/us’ is a convenient mantra, expressed in a thousand different forms from ‘Make America Great Again’ to ‘Take Back Control,’ but it inevitably means what is not so good, or even bad, for others. Tribal identities are defined as much by those they exclude as those they include. Once upon a time, people used to talk about the people in their circle. I apologize for being so predictable, but if you look at the illustration to this post, you’ll see a globe. When God made the world, he made it round. We’re all in his circle. Shouldn’t everyone be in ours?


10 thoughts on “How Large Is Our Circle?”

  1. Yes, the world is round. God is at the centre of the Universe. His Love reaches out to every spot on that globe with the same love and warmth. Dear Sister. Your blog and the daily news bulletins make me so angry I feel I’d like to go and shout on a street corner “Woe to …” . But I know that a quiet prayer offered with true humility will be more effective… I’ll remember you as I pray.

    • I have a hunch God can handle your anger, dear Anonymous. But I agree with you, the news are definitely cause for prayer, a lament maybe, in my case, and a plea for rescue.

  2. As someone who was the recipient of free school meals from my entry to school in 1954 until my 16th year, I am aware that the shame and even scandal for being poor was something I learned early on. On a Monday morning the register would be called and children’s were required to bring forward their dinner money to give to the class teacher. They also called the names of those on Free School dinners and we would see the eyes of all on us as we had to just say yes to being present and than lower our heads in shame so as not to see those from self rigIhtious fringe would tut, tut and nothing was ever said.

    By the time I went to a catholic Secondary school, it was altogether more civilized. You went ot the school office to pay your dinner meny or to just confirm you were in that week for free dinnners.

    I suspect that if I am able to remember so vividly those days and the feelings and emotions that they are drawing out now, how many hundreds of children now, receiving free school meals will feel singled out and abused by the furore provoked by the Government’s failure to respond to public opinion and the reactions of those who have denigrated Marcus’s campaign, while acknowledging that he has done much good by high lighting the ongoing issues of poverty and the abandonment of ultruism and care for those most deprived in our communites, particularly as the devolved administrations have managed to make provision for half term and have guaranteed free school meals until the end of the school year in 2012.

    As for the treatment of refugee’s, particularly denials of asylum and actions to deter them from seeking a new life in a place of safety, we seem to be adopting the regime common to countries like Australia who actively discourage refugees and actually imprison them off shore, something that was being proposed in the uk not so long ago. This is disgraceful and I recall the fuss made when the USA under Mr Trump, were actively holding children, seperated from their families in cages, like animals in a Zooo. There is no humanity in all of this, just pure tribalism, selfishness and protectionism of something that no longer exists “An Isolated Nation State” we are all in the circle of the world and the sooner we accept it and get on with being citizens in that circle with mutual responsibilities for each other, including welcoming refugees to a place of safety the better.

    • One hopes that the present system of providing free meals is more sensitive than the one you had to endure in your childhood, Ernie, and that we do indeed become much more compassionate towards one another. Thank you for sharing your experience with us all..

Comments are closed.