2 minutes reading time (320 words)

Do no harm

Or, to give the full Latin phrase: "Primum non nocere" - first of all, do no harm. This is one of the fundamental principles governing all medical practice; but maybe its ramifications can be felt in other areas.

Like Brexit, or Lent.

Some of you will have noticed that I put suggestions for prayer on the weekly pew sheet. One of the things I find most difficult is to devise a form of words, when it comes to Brexit, that won't simply enrage half the people who read the sheet. But perhaps I can say this - a personal view, I know, but one that has a fair bit of factual evidence behind it: those who actively relish the prospect of the UK crashing out of the EU without any kind of agreement are indulging in a dangerous fantasy. Everything suggests that a no-deal Brexit would take us into uncharted territory, and would be highly likely to have a damaging effect on our society and our economy - with particularly dire consequences for the poorest and most vulnerable individuals and communities. So, while I really don't want to get into an unholy argument about Brexit, and I try to respect other people's views on it, I do feel it's my duty to ask people to pray that, whatever happens, damage will be minimised. In other words, that as little harm as possible will be done.

First of all, do no harm. It's not a bad way to approach Lent, either. Not so much the big do-gooding gesture, or the show of self-mortification - more some kind of quiet attention to not causing harm. Especially with words; we all know the harm caused by a rash outburst or a sly piece of gossip. (Or a no-holds-barred argument about Brexit!) 

So that's my Lenten commitment, anyway: to try to think, and wait, before I speak, in the hope of doing no harm.

The Choir
George Herbert


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Saturday, 23 March 2019

Captcha Image

Copyright © Coast and 'Combe Mission Community 2019. All Rights Reserved. - xs web design