Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Keeping the faith in dark times

I (like I assume pretty much everyone else) have been glued to the news over the past day watching with sickening horror the riots in London and now other parts of the UK.  The images of rioters is not something new, however they usually have a cause.  They are protesting for political change or against multinational corporations or something.  The thing which I have found so scary about the sight unfolding in the UK is the seeming lack of reason beyond a fearless defiance of authority, the opportunity for theft and enjoyment in destruction.

At times like this, thoughts immediately turn to those we know and love who live in the vicinity.  I'm pleased to say that no one I know has been directly affected, although a friend of a friend had their flat burned down and everyone seems on edge as they wait for the next night to fall.

But as always, it seems when times are dark and troubled, ordinary people emerge and do wonderful things.  I'm sure the coming days will reveal many heroic stories along the lines of the kitchen staff from the Ledbury restaurant defending their patrons with rolling pins and deep fryer baskets, but the story that really made me smile this morning was that of the Wombles.

Hundreds, if not thousands of people have turned up all over London armed not with the weapons of the night before, but with brooms to help clear the mess.  Nicknamed the Wombles, they are showing those whose businesses and homes have been damaged and destroyed that the community is behind them and ready to support them.  I think it really goes to show, that despite the terror that a relatively small group of people can inflict, what it does is inspire a community to rally together.


  1. Thank you for sharing the brighter moments, Lisa! I didn't know about the Wombles, but that helps restore my faith in humanity.

  2. If there is one thing I've learned, it is that for every disappointing person, there are at least two wonderful people. Unfortunately the disappointing ones seem to be louder, more in your face and more in the media, so the wonderful quiet people often get looked over. But keep an eye out for them and you will find people who will lift your spirits no matter what the circumstance.

  3. It has been horrible watching the news unfold. Your last paragraph offers some hope - let's hope the chaos dies down soon and the brooms can sweep away the worst of the mess, if not the memories.

  4. Kari it has been terrible. A friend who lives in Manchester wrote telling me that she is going to help with the cleanup, even though other people don't want her to because as she said it is like that quote all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. The worst times can bring out the best in people.