Stepping Back

By Rabbi Aaron Gol...
November 18, 2011

This week those words came from a stand-out line from an excellent interview by Kirsty Young for Desert Island Discs, with the crossbench peer and social entrepreneur, Lord Victor Adebowale. “I’m a 6 foot black guy from Wakefield who isn’t rich, didn’t go to Eton or Oxbridge, isn’t a lawyer – what the hell am I doing here?!”

He described the upbringing he and his siblings were given by his parents, immigrants from Nigeria at a time when Britain was deeply racist. They were told, “Not to give in to other people’s expectations. We had inculcated in us, thank God, a sense of pride and equality. We were poor but we never went to school scruffy or dirty. We were taught to respect others. We were taught that if someone is pushing you the thing to do is to take one small step backwards, to be intelligent in your relationships with others.”

At this time when there is an echo of circumstances that led in the past to dread, fear and destruction, let us hope that Greece and all other nations in current economic and political difficulties are given the time to step back, before being drawn, pulled from a compelling commitment for good, into the future; a future that we pray is bright and full of support.

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