If in doubt, do


© Peace Pledge Union

A maxim that guides my hand – always to good effect – is If in doubt, do. In other words, when no harm can result from doing a thing one might otherwise put off, it can’t hurt to try. Puzzling, then, that I’ve been squinting somewhat in perplexity.

The only political statement I make is to wear a white poppy at this somber time of year. It is in empathy with the brave souls who defend our freedoms and expression of dismay at the failure in dialogue that leads to war.

I’m hoping to attend the Cenotaph this Sunday. It seems meaningful and important to share this anniversary.

But, how will my white poppy be met? Recording vox pops for Abacus, my attempt to make things add up, broadcast on Resonance 104.4fm, I want to capture some off-the-cuff thoughts; reflections on the dreadful business it all was; musings on the intuitive connection one feels to the totality of suffering.

A rabbi on the radio the other day said what matters is how one’s words are understood, rather than their intended meaning. This brought me up short: how can any of us possibly determine how others think?

Perhaps by listening to what they say?

The signing of the Armistice – an agreement to halt physical conflict – did not bring an end to all war. And this Centenary since those guns fell silently away won’t deter further deafness to dialogue. In the pause for thought those Two Minutes offer, mebbie we can listen and learn to the weight of sorrow wrought by such frantic loss of humanity?

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