I often finish work just before 6pm so that I can settle down on the sofa with a glass of Merlot and a handful of nuts to watch the BBC news. Last Wednesday’s opening story had me in despair before I could put glass to lip or crunch a walnut. Quite rightly, in my opinion, the BBC showed images that for once were truly disturbing. Their report showed pictures of a Turkish police officer carrying the body of a small boy from a beach. The boy, Aylan, his brother and mother had drowned in a desperate attempt to reach a Greek island within the European Community. When I thought about it a little later in the evening, I became alarmed as to my “normal” state of insensitivity. I realized that it had taken such harrowing images to arouse one of the foremost “Natural Principles” within me.
Compassion is that foremost Natural Principle
I say alarmed, as it would appear that in order for events of human suffering in other areas of the world to truly grab my attention these days, ever more shocking input is required from my outer senses. It’s no longer enough to read or hear of hundreds of migrants perishing in the waters of the Mediterranean, or of dozens of refugees suffocating to death in the back of a truck in Austria, or of asylum seekers risking life and limb to scramble over razor wire at the Channel Tunnel entrance, for me to sit up and focus.