From the writings of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

The writings of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks inspire and challenge. Writing about the Coronavirus pandemic he makes some telling observations which are summarised here.

The crisis that we face has shown that we are essentially one of two types of people. These are the ‘I’ people and the ‘we’ people.

The ‘I’ people are primarily focussed on themselves; these would be the ones who suddenly need 600 rolls of toilet paper and who also develop a huge appetite for pasta; the stock pilers who care little for the needs of others.

The ‘we’ people are those who have a real sense of society, who notice the needs of those around them. They will shop for themselves and their neighbours, they will volunteer to help the NHS and organise a street caring group.

The ‘I’ people are selfish, the ‘we’ people are generous in spirit. This is a huge simplification, but I am sure that you get the point.

So, when all of this is in the past will we be changed people? I believe that we will. We will know our neighbours better; we will be more grateful for those people and things we might have once taken for granted. I shall forever remember standing outside at 8.00pm on one Thursday evening and clapping along with my neighbours as we showed our appreciation for our NHS. I shall value the telephone and being able to speak to someone instead of just sending an email. Finally, I shall really understand that goodness will always triumph over adversity.

‘the light shines in the darkness and the darkness shall never extinguish it.’ John 1:5

This lies at the very heart of our Christian faith and we are called to live it believing it to be true.