Whitby Gazette 20th July 2018
The week leading up to the World Cup final was an extraordinary one. We`ve seen the best and the worst of human behaviour. The best was the great example given us by our England manager Gareth Southgate, who showed us values that have been in short supply especially in the world of football for many years: authority without ostentation and trust in his players that allowed his young team to flourish.
Then the remarkable cave rescue in northern Thailand – an international effort which saw two British cave experts, the first to gain access to the flooded cave where the boys had been trapped for nine days. We waited with baited breath, as the rescue operation took place and followed its meticulous planning and its joyful success. “We are not heroes” declared the man who headed the British rescue group as they returned to Heathrow, “ What we do is very calculating.. very calm. It`s quite the opposite.”
And then egomania let rip! – the arrival of a powerful world leader! One who demeans and trashes what he does not like and what he does not understand; What a contrast!
We know which behaviour we value. We know which behaviour we want our children to emulate. We have witnessed acts of courage, skill, consideration and endurance. We have seen sport rescued by quiet authoritative leadership; we have seen kindness and civility alongside team strength and determination.
We recognise these qualities for what they are – part of the best of the human spirit to act out of decency and kindness and to use our skill and our knowledge to serve others.
The other is intolerance and bigotry. Let us see it for what it is and call it by its name.