Letters - 27 March 2020

From working together to untangling truth

Work together

In these challenging and extraordinary times we are tempted to look back to the horrors of the past, and a Friend (20 March) reminded us of the many plague victims buried in Bunhill Fields. However, our son, who worked for over twenty years at the wonderful Wellcome Collection medical museum and library, near Friends House, reminds me that the best time to be alive is now. Think, he says, of the huge advances in medical understanding, medical technology, and the many aspects of pharmacology. Indeed, we have all that, and more: we have instant global communication and we have an organ of international collaboration in the UN’s World Health Organisation. There lies great hope.

The scientific and technological communities are good at collaboration and cooperation. What puzzles me is why, after millennia of human development, do we continue to elect as our political leaders so many men (or women aping men) who display the more primitive elements of human nature: aggression, tribal suspicion, egotism, possessiveness, recklessness, pride and so on? Maybe this crisis will convince us of what the two donkeys took so long to learn: to work together.

Howard W Hilton

Positive play

It was good to read John Lampen’s very positive review of Journeymen Theatre’s latest play Lock Down (13 March).

This play was commissioned by Positive Justice Gloucestershire and was performed recently in Stroud to a largely non-Quaker audience of about sixty. The audience were obviously deeply moved by the play; over £500 was raised for RECOOP, the charity for older prisoners.

It is a pity that this play has become available just when no one is booking anything, but I would urge all Meetings to keep it in mind, and to book Journeymen for this play when and if life returns to normal. If possible, get it to audiences wider than Friends. It needs to be seen by readers of the Daily Mail.

Mary Brown

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