Monday, September 22, 2008


I could neither count nor identify all the flags, fluttering bravely in the strengthening breeze, representing most, if not all of the nations of the world.

Certainly, the International Maritime Organisation offered an impressive sight this evening, situated as it is on the banks of the Thames, almost opposite the splendour of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.

The intriguing thing was that, as the flags of so many nations hung in parallel honour, there was no disharmony of colours, not one flag that dominated over another. Each was given equal respect.

Does that not say something about the way this world should be?

What right does a country have to assume superiority over another?

Why should one country be regarded as ‘superior’ and another ‘inferior’?

Who has the greater right to land … a human being who holds the title deeds or the bird that claims its territory by song, or an animal that marks its borders by its own unique scent? What would happen if the dog or the bird were to tell the human population that the piece of paper that grants title to a piece of land is worthless, for it is only paper that can rot or be blown away by the wind?

Sometimes the shape of a national border is purely arbitrary, and yet it is coveted and protected.

Why have we made it so difficult for some people to move from one place to another? There was a time when there was no need for passport or visa, ID cards or bio-data. People had dignity and status by virtue of their very existence, by virtue of their humanity.

Why do we fight to protect one little corner of land and not see the whole earth as a gift of God to be cherished and shared?

When God looks at the world, does he see the divisions that we recognise, or does he see the harmony of many flags caressed by the same breeze?

God bless,
Sr Janet