As I walked down Chester Road towards the railway station this afternoon I heard the distinctive siren of an ambulance approaching from behind.
The road was quite busy, and one by one cars slowed down and moved to the side of the road, or even onto the pavement, to allow the ambulance easier progress.
All except one car, whose driver continued in an unchanging line, either ignorant or indifferent to what was happening around him.
Of course I wasn’t surprised. It’s a sad truth of human nature. And I’m not just talking about that driver, I’m talking about myself, and I’m probably talking about you.
Because here’s the sad truth. It’s not that I noticed that one selfish driver more than the dozen decent individuals. It’s not even that I expected someone to act that way. The sad truth is that I was looking for them.
This is how many of us are brought up. It’s how we are conditioned by the media and our society. And yes, it may well be built into our very nature. We find ourselves always looking for the bad and pointing it out, while we are seemingly blind to the good that surrounds us constantly.
Whether it’s that driver who cuts you up, the neighbour who causes a noise nuisance in the dead of night, the politician caught in scandal or the corrupt businessman. These are all exceptions. It’s not true to say “they’re all the same,” it’s truer to acknowledge that we notice their differences, and to understand that the news will report the abnormal rather than the everyday.
God is good, and He made us in His image. That image has become distorted but the goodness is still there, and we would do well to recognise that, and thank Him for the goodness in the world, in ourselves and in each other.