Thought For The Day #5204 September 2015
Broadcast 4th of September 2015 on BBC Radio Bristol
Refuge is something we all unthinkingly seek. When there’s a sudden rain shower, we don’t get out our smartphones and google for bus shelter reviews. No, we make a beeline straight for the nearest doorway, to huddle like sardines with strangers. Refuge is an immediate response to an immediate situation.
As we’re standing there looking out at the downpour, we might see some well-prepared, umbrella users strolling by. Those people may well have used their smartphones that morning to check the weather. In fact many, many months ago, they may even have deliberately gone into a shop and spent a few moments choosing their favourite umbrella. They had time then. They could reflect on how much (or how little) money they had to spend. And perhaps what size, colour and style of umbrella would suit their needs and tastes.
There is a time and a place to best prepare for keeping dry during bad weather. And the middle of a rainstorm is not that time or place. It is also not the best moment to phone your girlfriend and tell her off for never putting the umbrella back by the coat stand where it belongs. I know that it might be “so typical” of her to let you down like this, but that’s not making the rain any less wet right now.
What I’m saying is that the best response we can have to a disaster is actually pretty boring. It’s the ordinary efforts we make amongst the monotony of cloudy, but dry days. It’s easy to get frustrated and lash out when we unexpectedly get wet, but it’s much, much harder to channel that frustration into the coal face of everyday life.