Thought for the Week – 25th June 2023
Ethics and standards, especially in public life have been much in the news this week as Parliament debated the report on the conduct of our former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. In the United States, former President Donald Trump has legal difficulties of his own. People will form their own judgements on these individuals, but much of the concern relates to trust; how can we have faith in leaders if they allegedly lie and mislead us? There seems to be an argument that the end justifies the means; provided leaders deliver prosperity and security, does it matter if they mislead and twist the truth? Politics is the art of the possible. all leaders manipulate the news so why get worked up about it?
I am aware that we all manage information to suit our own purposes; we sometimes deal with sensitive situations where we may need to decide what is the least-bad way forward. It is not always wise to be completely transparent in these situations. But when we are in these situations, we need to recognise the difficult course we are navigating. What disturbs me is when some individuals appear to become so comfortable with ignoring the truth that they simply do not recognise they are on a very dangerous path. Not only are they dishonest with others, they become dishonest with themselves. in the Judaeo-Christian tradition there is a simple word for this lack of self-awareness ; “sin”.
Rev David Poyner