‘Choose life’ is a catchphrase that has become strongly associated with Danny Boyle’s 1996 movie Trainspotting, but its origins pre-date the film by a considerable margin.
They are the words of a man called Moses speaking to a nation newly rescued from 400 years of slavery and oppression. “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction…Now choose life”. Deuteronomy 30:15, 9b
I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that, as we begin to emerge from potentially the worst global crisis in modern times, we are facing some equally weighty choices. But it’s fair to say also that this pandemic presents us with unprecedented opportunities. To replace prejudice and hatred with tolerance and respect. To reappraise the impact of humanity on the environment. To plan and prepare better for future disasters. To hold onto the good things we have experienced in the midst of the bad.
In an interview on Sky TV this week, the economist Professor Stephanie Kelton said, “We are facing a choice…the new normal could be awful. It could be a decade of double-digit unemployment, poverty and social unrest…or it could be a beautiful world, where we come together to safeguard communities, battle climate change and redress long-standing inequities in our economy”.
The coronavirus pandemic is an event that will be remembered by our children and the story retold to our grandchildren. Let’s hope they won’t be asking us why, when we had the opportunity, we didn’t choose life.
All the very best,
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