The Parish of Sandal Magna

The Parish of Sandal Magna
St. Helen's and St. Paul's Church
Serving Sandal, Walton and Portobello in Wakefield UK.



To Tweet or not to Tweet


To tweet or not to tweet that is the question. Sometimes a tweet is an appropriate and fun way of keeping in touch with people, and brevity can be the soul of wit. But when it comes to conducting international relations on grave matters that affect the lives of millions, it should be avoided. The knee jerk responses and intemperate words of Donald Trump risk making a tense situation even worse. Proverbs, perhaps the ancient equivalent of tweets, are pithy statements of timeless truth, based on the wisdom of generations. In the Biblical book of Proverbs the writer contrasts the wise and the foolish, as in these three relevant proverbs.

"Prudent people don’t flaunt their knowledge; talkative fools broadcast their silliness.
Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.
Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.

In the letter of James, he writes of the dangerous power of the tongue: "the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.” He goes on to say: "everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” We live in an age of social media where the opposite is the case. Insults and abuse have become commonplace. Sensitive negotiations are conducted in public, and leaders take up entrenched positions with megaphone diplomacy that drowns out the nuances of more private discussions. We need wise leaders, who do not behave like children shouting insults in the playground, especially when lives and livelihoods are at stake. “If we want to be counted wise", James writes, "Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts."

Rupert Martin Published in The Wakefield Express 15th September




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