Charles Darwin would have tutted in disgust this morning. I watched two, supposedly highly evolved beings engage in the following behaviour… As I was approaching Tesco Express in Lytchett Matravers, I heard a white tip-up truck (typical of those used in building work) slam on its brakes and the driver honking his horn. Thinking he’d braked to save some road-senseless animal or bird, I turned to investigate. No bird, no cat, no dog… Instead, he had slammed on the anchors in order to hail his friend across the road. The friend was in his car, blocking the disabled parking space (and most of the access to the slip-road outside Tesco). They then proceed to shout a conversation across the road while traffic built up behind the truck that was blocking the main road. The lad in the car shouted that he was just off to Cornwall (perhaps fuelled by benefits, who knows?) and, sure enough, his surf-board was in the back.
Eventually a brave soul dared to honk the truck driver, and traffic flow was restored to Lytchett Matravers’ main road; peace, however, was not restored to me. I was stupefied.
So why the reference to “Darwin”? Well, on my way to the shop, I had noticed one of the Darwin badges that is sold to mock Christianity. This is where there is the shape of a fish, with legs added, and “Darwin” written in the body of the fish. No-doubt this is supposed to be witty, yet I doubt its pure intent. The fish sign is a sacred symbol of Christian faith, the word “fish” being used in the persecuted church to mean: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.” We are supposed to be a highly evolved species that lives in community. For this to work well, we must
respect one another. Good manners, considerate behaviour, and respecting one another’s beliefs are part of the glue that bonds society together and keeps the peace. The drivers of both vehicles clearly rated other people’s rights as of nothing compared to their own – no one else counted (unless within their own small circle of associates). The witty driver of the Darwinesque car clearly felt centuries of beliefs were fair target for public disdain. I remember having my car keyed outside church, perhaps because of the fish symbol I had on the back. I wondered how civilised society would feel if I likewise keyed the Darwinesque car? (And, no, I have no intention of keying the car… I’m seeking a higher order of behaviour and standards.)
Whilst we cannot and should not legislate against bad manners and inconsiderate behaviour, we can, nevertheless, educate. For the two drivers, I suspect that ship has sailed and they are destined to be a burden on society for the rest of their non-contributory lives, but for our children, there is hope.
Regardless of your stance on religion, and specifically Christianity, pure Christianity teaches love for all, deep respect, and emotional maturity. This emotional maturity is called, “The Fruit of the Spirit”. These values are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. If we were all to manifest such maturity, Heaven truly would be a place on Earth.