Tuesday 14 October 2014

Counting blessings

People dancing
The barn dance in the next room
In the room next to the Barn dance at Jess & Simon's 20th wedding anniversary I met Tony who had been a part of  'the livestyle movement' apparently pretty much since it started in 1972.  I wasn't familiar with the group, but something he said (which is also their strapline) got me interested:
'Live simply so all may simply live'
On their website I found Livestyle movement 'guidelines' , the first of which is:

'Recognise that there is a connection between the affluence of some and the poverty of others'
At first this may seem like common sense - afterall, we live in a finite world.  Yet it has been the basis of economic arguments throughout the 20th century, within 'microeconomics' and 'macroeconomics', and the relative value of 'value adding' to raw materials.  And that's before you get into politics.

The day after the barn dance I went to a book launch at Queens College.  On a wet night in a small classroom in the college John Hull was launching a book all about a 'prophetic church' - asking tough questions challenging Christians to 'act more, pray less'.  Looking around the room I recognised many of the faces.  I'm not a believer, but these were the faces of people I respected because of the social action they are involved in, locally, and through the wonderful local Kings Heath 'All Saints' social action group I go to far too rarely.

It made me think about Jess and Simon 'counting blessings' in their anniversary speech, looking to friends and family - 'the other people in their marriage'.  For me, confidence to act must come from the people immediately around me more than from any 'inner compass' I have trouble finding.  I only hope I can help others a fraction as much as I feel inspired by my inspiring friends.

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