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Sonia’s article in the May Diary April 19, 2021

Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.
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We are now limping out of lockdown. Every five weeks or so a few more restrictions may be lifted, God willing and covid permitting. How might we be able to have good come out of this pandemic?

I thought back to an earlier global shock, which altered relative national powerbases and geopolitics, as well as significantly changing societies’ behaviours. In 1973-4 the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting countries, led by Saudi Arabia, quadrupled the price of oil. You remember Sheikh Yamani? ‘Yamani or your life!’ It was partially in retaliation against those countries who had been deemed to support Israel against the Arabs in the Yom Kippur war, and also, because they considered that they were being ripped-off by selling oil cheaply, their one major resource. Long term legacies of the petroleum price hike included a focus on fuel conservation, a trend to small, efficient Japanese cars, rather than American gas guzzlers, increased home insulation and a shift in economic power from Western democracies to oil-rich autocracies.

So, what might the long-term changes in behaviour be from this covidpandemic? Social inequalities in terms of income, housing, employment and life opportunities have been highlighted, but may not be easy to remedy. There will have to be remedial work for those bereaved, or suffering long-term effects of physical and mental illness as well as a loss of education and employment opportunities.

What positives? What new dawn may come from this unlocking? Maybe a greater appreciation of the fragility of life and the importance of relationships? A greater respect for the jobs and professions which have kept society supported and functioning through the pandemic? More personally, the neighbourliness and collegiality which have flourished over the past year may bring greater on-going social cohesion.

Apart from our physical lockdown, we may have parts of our internal life under lock and key. Things we are ashamed of – let’s not go there. It’s too painful. Feelings of inadequacy, which can make us hypersensitive and hard to live with. Guilt at badly done or unfinished business. Jesus can enter those locked spaces and release us, if we’ll let him. As he said in Revelation, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to them and dine with them, and they with me.”

Many blessings,  Sonia   07747 844265

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