The gathering gloom reported in the media recently over a very wide spectrum of human life on the planet, is mirrored in SW London at least by winter darkness still prevailing at breakfast time and again by teatime making the daily commute a grey cold and usually wet experience.
The media reports about politicians' and others' wise and sometimes not so wise, words at Copenhagen, the continuing grave news out of Dublin about priests' malfeasance, the ongoing recession and politicians' feebleness in responding to the overborrowed state of the economy, the plight of those living under intolerant secular or supposedly religious regimes and those oppressed by war famine or pestilence, make for pessimistic reflection, especially when also taking into account, one's personal actions which might be said not to be adding to the Common Good.
Yet...and yet, the sun is shining now as always it does somewhere. Countless individual human acts of kindness go unreported. Collectively many individuals seek to improve the human condition. Thus outside the offices of Lockheed engineering co's UK subsidiary in SW1 earlier this week, were singers dressed as Santa Clauses singing in the tunes of carols, songs beseeching workers and politicians not to replace the UK's Trident nuclear missile arsenal. That they were able to sing and protest freely barely a stones throw from the Houses of Parliament is itself positive but their viewpoint I thought about by Westminster Cathedral and concluded was entirely correct so signed their petition in support.
Had I been alive for WWII and had the prospect of dropping an atom bomb or two on Japan been up for discussion, doubtless the likelihood of shortening the war by a year or more would have been hugely enticing, yet the price to be paid of killing and maiming millions of non-combatants would I hope, I would have seen, as being contaminated blood money of the kind, that should never ever be paid.
If during the cold war Cuba missile crisis - and I recall us teenage pupils saying the deeply moving and consoling De Profundis prayer with the Jesuits at Beaumont on Black Saturday night - the West had fired its/our nuclear bombs at theUSSR, the human race, even had any humans survived, would have been immeasureably poorer for it, far poorer in fact than if we had simply run up the white flag and joined the USSR (rather than as it subsequently turned out the EU). The salutory lesson to be learned from the demolition of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the USSR empire years later, is that good will out - eventually - which is really a gold rather than silver lining thought for the dark mid-winter or to put that another way, the thought of Christmas to come.