Thought for the Week – 28th February 2021
Education and Wisdom
Not surprisingly, the Covid vaccines continue to be in the news; there is rightly much celebration at the remarkable speed they are being made available, but also concern that not everyone who would benefit is coming forward for vaccination when called. Part of the problem is “mis-information”; the lies that the vaccines contain microchips, dangerous materials or human foetal cells. Some leaders, including a few within the Anglican Communion, have spoken out without properly checking their facts. Earlier this week I was talking to one of my colleagues at work (Aston University) who specialises in vaccines; he had produced a short education article on the Covid vaccines that seems to be having a very positive effect; drdanpatten.wordpress.com/2020/12/14/covid-19-vaccines-sorting-fact-from-fiction/. He has been told of how the article doubled the number of people in one local facility willing to be vaccinated. Giving people the facts really can work and I highly recommend the article!.
Pleasing though this is, I have to say that I have never had much success by simply providing facts to get people to change their mind; I know myself that my deepest beliefs are resistant to this. As I write this article, news has broken of how the Queen has urged people to take up the vaccine because it helps others; both by stopping us spreading Covid and also from taking up resources if we fall ill. I suspect this appeal to our emotional and moral sense will reach many who will not be moved by simple facts.
To change our behaviour we need to use both our head and heart; we need facts, but we also need to use our emotional/spiritual senses to accept the need to change. This is part of what the Bible calls wisdom; it is what it means when it asks that God will “write” his laws on our hearts.
Rev David Poyner