Balm of being meaningfully useful


Processing the shattering vacuity responsible for last week’s destruction of so many lives in Manchester takes more than time. It demands deep empathy in order to comprehend the pain it has wrought.

Reports cascaded of taxi drivers ferrying fareless rides; residents offering beds for the night to those involved, solidarity cascading from the shoulders of Mancunians as off-duty medical staff dashed to their hospitals.

How we deal with shock is a function of our inner being. Class, nationality, gender, orientation, intellect: none has the slightest impact on our humanity which is the determining factor in how we respond to, inter alia, unbelievably awful events. It’s instinct, our inner-ness which governs or … which directs action.

And by giving of ourselves, the healing process begins. It ain’t rocket science; it’s more sophisticated than that.


Just this moment it’s been announced John Noakes has died. Everybody’s uncle he, along with Shep, cheered one up every single time he was on screen making meaningful connection with each Blue Peter child.

God speed, John Noakes.