As delivered on the Radio Bristol Breakfast Show this morning:
Well? Would you go to Gaza?
A businessman friend of mine routes some of his company profits into building schools and hospitals in Kenya. Another couple I know give up holiday to serve on a Mercy Ship offering treatment to people for a range of common complaints. Things we can have easily dealt with in our country but which become life-threatening in sub-Saharan Africa. I know others who serve on summer camps for disadvantaged children, paying their own way and giving up holiday. They always return physically exhausted and sign up for next year at once.
Today we have another to add as a Bristol anaesthetist heads to Gaza instead of vacation.
I rejoice at the sacrifice and goodwill of so many excellent contributors to a better world, especially in a week where, as the Archbishop of Canterbury said, despair seems to dominate our news.
Why do some seem to contribute hugely whilst others do nothing?
Perhaps it is because we feel so helpless. That our little bit of money or time won't make any difference.
But the privilege of being part of a crowd where all are good is that we only have to do a little.
St Paul suggested that we have different gifts. If it is serving, he said, then serve; if it is teaching then teach; if it is encouraging then encourage; if it is giving then give; if it is leading then lead. We should all do our bit. Today as we leave the house, let's try to make the world slightly better by the time we return.
The eighteenth century Irish Statesman Edmund Burke said 'Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.'