Being Community

Kay & I sat and listened to Chris Evans Radio 2 Pause for Thought this morning.

It was by Father Christopher Jamison – Benedictine Monk. Let us know what you think Facebook

“Radio 2’s celebrating Faith in the World Week by asking how people of all faiths and none make moral choices. Well as a contribution to that, let me tell you about a village in the Ivory Coast in East Africa. The scene is Ivory Coast, a desperately poor country torn by civil war and famine. In one village, all there is to eat is a small amount of cassava, a starchy root crop that’s made into flour and cooked to become what we call tapioca. So far so simple. But in the film about this village, that’s gripped by famine, I watched as 8 men and women, boys and girls, sat on the ground around a not very full bowl of this simple tapioca. Using only their hands, as is the African way, they all ate together from the bowl. Nobody grabbed, nobody rushed and they each waited until all had taken a handful before they took their next turn. Food was lacking but morality was not. Their moral choice was to be first and foremost a member of the community and of the family, and an individual second. These people were choosing to live a whole way of life, a deeply communal life. This action didn’t come out of the blue; it takes practice in good times to be that gracious in bad times. 
So what kind of a person does each of us really want to be? Do we want to be communal or just individual? At its best, religious faith teaches people how to be communal first because that’s the way we’ll become the individual God has made us to be. If you put being individual first you’ll find it hard to be communal, especially when you’re starving and the food bowl is surrounded by other people’s eager hands”

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