The news over the last few days has been very disturbing. We have seen pockets of lawlessness, selfishness & violence erupt on the streets of cities and communities across the country. There has been lots of commentary on the effectiveness of the policing and handling of the violence and I am in no position to pass any sort of comment or judgment on that. I only know I am glad I am not having to deal with the front line policing, what a tremendously difficult job they have.
The reason I feel the urge to write this blog post as I sit on the train travelling to work is that I worry that this very vocal minority of “ferrule rats” as they were described yesterday by one lady effected directly by the looting, rioting and vandalism, is a glimpse into a worrying future should the present path of slowing eroding the values & strengths of family living.

The family unit is indeed the core unit of society, there have been cries out in the news media over these last few days, where are the parents of these youth? And this is a good question, but it could have a worrying answer. Are these children disenfranchised from not only society but also their family? The worry is that they have no sense of belonging anywhere but with their peers. At present that means being involved in a bit of fun on the streets. Each one of the people, whether old or young belong to a family unit of some description, that unit may not conform to traditional image of the family but they will be a family nonetheless. What are we doing as a society to make sure that our family units are not crushed under the weight of external pressures? If The evidence lies across the streets of Tottenham, Croydon, Brixton, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Manchester, Salford, Bristol & other areas, then the answer is not enough. Do families get enough time to build their relationships? Is our society demonstrating to our children that what is important is what phone, car, house, tv, gadget, clothing, possessions you have, rather than the relationships you cultivate. It would appear that the driver for all this trouble at the moment is not politically or ideologically motivated but is motivated by greed and the desire to accumulate possessions bupy any means necessary.

I am still of the opinion that the trouble we see in England at the moment is as the result of a few and that these few do not represent the majority. The reports yesterday of social media being used by good mannered, responsible individuals to organise bands of people, again young people to facilitate the clean up in parts of London is evidence for me to back up this opinion.
But perhaps the silenced majority need to make more of a noise and stand up and say enough now, now we must safeguard the values that bind a society, the values that are seeded & cultivated in homes (not houses) up and down the country.

Steps down of his virtual soapbox and gets of the train……


A faith promoting experience on the side of the road…

This afternoon, as I was driving back from Sunday church services in Winchester, I passed as I have done many, many times the roadside memorial of two friends that were killed in a car accident driving between Hursley and Ampfield two years ago.  As I came up on the spot where the memorial now stands, a plaque and messages attached to a tree, a car pulled up and a couple got out with fresh flowers to place there.  I drove past but felt the urge and complusion to turn around and go back and just say hello and pass on my best wishes. 

I am so glad I did, as I reached Ampfield I turned around and went back the couple of miles to the spot where I met with the couple who are the parents of one of the two friends who was killed on that day two years ago.  We chatted together for a few moments and shared a smile and some thoughts together on the importance of family.  I was impressed by the faith they both displayed in those few moments we spent together. 

We spoke about how I as a regular commuter along that stretch of road, remembered when the flowers appeared and how they have continued to be there.  The hope is that the flowers act as a reminder that life is precious and to take care. 

What impressed me the most about this couple as we spoke on the side of the road is how even after such a tragedy in their life, they were able to express thanks and gratitude for their son and their other children to God.   Today their faith strengthened mine, I have not had to endure that trial of losing a loved one in such circumstances and there are many who have.  I don’t know if I could be as strong as that, if I didn’t have the knowledge that I have, of a plan of happiness that God, our Heavenly Father has for us all, that means that the family unit can be eternal, in fact is designed to be so.  This knowledge through the Gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by his Church on earth, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has brought me great comfort in my life, which I hope can be a comfort to many others.