We are focussed right now on the horror and sadness of the events that unfolded in Paris this weekend. Let us also remember that this is the latest chapter in a campaign to destroy civilisation. Only a week ago, 44 people were killed in twin bombings in Beirut. Before that, a Russian airliner – bombed out of the sky. The last decade and a half has seen terror strike innocent populations around the world.
Civilisation has come a long way in the last thousand years. Extremists and terrorists seek to seduce us through fear and outrage into abandoning reason, compassion, and peace. Retribution and destruction are tempting responses to these acts of terror. But we must beware, where these responses lead us. Let it not be back to cruel medievalism, but to a brighter, kinder, reasoned, community of nations working to solve the great challenges humanity faces.
This image is a panorama taken outside of Kingston, at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu, where 10,000 years ago this was the terminus of a great glacier. The remains of its massive moraine and outwash plain stretch some twelve kilometres south. Fields of giant boulders are testament to the glacier’s bulldozer force. The cloak has the colours of France, Lebanon, Kenya and India, countries that have recently been targets of barbaric attacks. Could this field of boulders be the wreckage around us now and the distant mountains be the brighter future we are all working for?