On fireworks and friendliness November 2017
Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot…. I remember when I was living in London in the 1980s you would still find, before the end of October a few children with an old pushchair and some stuffed clothes going: ‘Penny for the guy’. During my own son’s childhood changes in the neighbourhood meant that while there were still lovely fireworks in the local parks the connection was more with Diwali, than with Guy Fawkes. I liked fireworks, as long as they weren’t too close and preferred the friendlier connection with Hindu neighbours to the ‘celebration’ of division between Christians that the Gunpowder Plot fireworks had seemed to provide. Recently I attended a lovely assembly at Broad Town School where the youngest children told us all the story of the Good Samaritan with a mixture of video and storytelling. In this story Jesus told the priests are the bad guys, who claim to love God and their neighbour, but won’t cross the road to help an injured stranger. The lesson Class 1 drew from the story was ‘be kind to people, even if you don’t like them’. Fireworks as a celebration of friendliness, even to those you don’t like – that’s why I’ll be remembering the 5th of November from now on.