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Don’t be that guy


ne of the positive things to come out of this year for me at least has been the listening parties organised by Charlatans frontman and altogether top bloke Mr Tim Burgess. A very simple idea of putting on a classic album and tweeting about it with some of the musicians who created the record, simple but brilliant and positive and quite simply warming in times that have been by and large grim.

I guess that’s the magic of these parties, it’s positivity , the artists giving of their time to interact with the listeners. So when Tim invited one band to host a party there was a sour note from one tweet basically slagging of the band in question, mr Burgess challenged the guy who simply doubled down and insulted them again, it earned a rather splendid rebuke from Tim who challenged the sour disingenuous tweet and the classic line at the end “why be negative and mean, why be that guy”

Couldn’t help think of some of the responses to President Trumps Covid diagnosis, which has ranged from snide to downright nasty. Don’t get me wrong it’s not everyone in fact some of the responses from the likes of Joe Biden and Barack Obama to name just a couple have been kind and caring, unfortunately not everyone has followed their lead.

I sort of get the arguments , I get that President Trump is a character that divides opinion. people have pointed towards the fact that he has not always treated the virus seriously, that he once mocked Hilary Clinton when she had pneumonia, that may be true but even then why lower yourself to that level, don’t be that guy.

I am not a fan of President Trump or his blistering often confrontational type of leadership, I think he is bad for America, dishonest and bad for Christian witness, I also know a lot of people including one of my best mates who think the exact opposite of this, that’s fine.

What I do feel is that everyone has the right to be treated with respect, he is after all the president of the country. But deeper than that the only response anyone should have to hearing anyone is ill is to have compassion, to show mercy and as a Christian my response is to pray for them.

It’s funny how triggered people have become when you offer thoughts and prayers, it’s become such a toxic phrase and I understand why. Far too often it’s offered up as a platitude, an empty phrase just thrown out with the same regard as a discarded burger wrapper. It means nothing to the person offering it up so it’s no surprise it’s also worth nothing.

As a Christian I believe in prayer, I pray for my friends, my family and yes also my enemies. the challenge comes to bring a level of authenticity and earnest concern equally to each one, I don’t quite achieve this but I am trying.

The truth is this no matter how I personally feel about Boris Johnson or President Trump or other world leaders if they become better leaders everyone wins. So I focus my prayers not only on their physical well-being but also their wholeness, their relationship with God, their morality, I don’t pray for them to have the same morality as me to force my world view on others God forbid I become that guy, but rather God would show them the right path to take, the right way to live, to make them more whole.

Perhaps I am naive , after all who am I to guys like that, inconsequential, a nobody and that maybe true, but I have to follow my own conscience , do what I think is right.

I could be full of hate, gleefully wallow in someone else’s misery, point out that he has brought it all on himself, but do you know what , I don’t want to be that guy.

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