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Loss and gain

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Mark 8.36

The deaths of Nottingham University students Barnaby and Grace, together with local school caretaker Ian Coates sent shock-waves around that university and its surrounding community. The spontaneous expressions of grief and solidarity bear witness to the strength of feeling among people generally and those close to the victims in particular. They also provoke serious questions about the society we are becoming.

One or two key choices lie at the heart of how we live our lives, as individuals and collectively. Is our priority self-advancement or the good of others? Are we conscious of the presence of a higher being or does our awareness stretch only so far as what we can perceive with our 5 senses?

Those forces which govern how we live play upon the assumption that we are self-centred and narcissistic. Marketing companies and social media conspire to create bespoke microcosms in which we are fed the information most likely to satisfy our interests and groom our desires. We are increasingly isolated from views and realities and alternatives which might upset or distract us.

This is not healthy, either for us or for society, because it flatters our inflated yet delicate egos and it separates us so that we become suspicious of each other and sometimes aggressively hostile. This is what it look like when we fall for the lie that we can have it all. There is a price and that price is our soul. And if we sell our soul, what are we left with?



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