Rambling Rector

Eggardon & Colmers View

May 2021

“Freedom”  

                                                                                                 

We are now regaining some of our lost freedoms as the infection rates decline and the number of people vaccinated increases. Shops that have been closed for so long have now opened, pubs have opened outside once more (assuming nothing changes between writing and publishing this magazine). I am sure they are all getting our support and a sense of freedom and happiness permeates to all. We do this, mindful of those for whom there is no job to return to, those who have lost their job or business in these tough times. We give thanks for those that have recovered from covid, while praying for those whose family members have not recovered.

It seems the biggest sacrifice made by many people of all generations has been the removal of human interaction. This has ranged from the elderly in care homes and the sick in hospital not being able to be visited, to the lonely at home with nobody to talk to. It also includes the younger generations not being able to go on dates, discuss growing up with friends, or even just ‘hanging out’ with friends. I wonder how many young people have moved into this area and have not had the opportunity to meet people their own age? This covers school age, university age as well as early adult age, and even beyond. It seems possible that people that have been vaccinated will be able to get out and socialize before those that haven’t, which will again leave the younger age group at a disadvantage.

We all depend upon human interaction, something I have said on many occassions. The weather is now improving, hopefully we can enjoy meeting outside in the warm weather.

It was really good to gather in person for worship at Easter and be with people, we were even able to sing outside at Symondsbury, North Poorton and Dottery churches. That felt like a bit of freedom after so long not being able to meet and sing.

But what is freedom, and where does / should it end?

That is not an easy question. If you take it at face value, then it is about being able to go where you like, when you like and do whatever you like. But this would not be beneficial to all, and so there has to be some sort of control. Being free not to have a dose of the vaccine is a case in point. Yes we all want to be able to have the freedom to choose, but when not receiving a dose of vaccine could potentially be fatal for someone else, we need to question that level of freedom. Our freedoms must be for the collective good; all of society is only free when everybody conforms to some sort of rules. It is only when we have all been vaccinated that any of us can go outside again with any confidence that the people we meet are free of this awful virus.

If we look at other societies around the world and their behaviour we find that the far eastern countries seem to have been better at complying with lockdown rules than the western ones, with a result that they have not had the huge spike in infections that we have suffered in the west (apologies if that sounds like a sweeping statement, it is not meant to be).

One person breaking the rules encourages others to do the same and that can then snowball into a total disregard of all the rules. We do follow the example of others, which makes it even more important for those in positions of power and influence to set a good example. It is also true that denying somebody else’s freedom is not the right way of ensuring your own freedom. In short we base our freedoms upon the mutual flourishing of all. So enjoy your freedom as we get back to normal, but also remember to always act for the collective good.

Rev Chris

Rev Chris writes for the Eggardon & Colmers View - the parish and community news monthly magazine.