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On this day in 1864 the founding charter of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement was formally adopted in Geneva.
We are lucky indeed to live in a world where some people are prepared to help others (and indirectly themselves), on an altruistic basis. The IRCRC is a shining example of this, and others spring to mind such as UNICEF, Medecins sans Frontieres and Alcoholics Anonymous. How many lives have been saved by these organisations is hard to tell but it must run into millions. Yet sometimes we take them for granted.
Today’s poem is one of the finest ever written on the theme of hope and renewal – a new morning always waits on the far side of night: God’s Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins:
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! Bright wings.
Today I ask that I will be grateful for the unselfish help that I receive in so many ways.