I’ve just on the train coming out of Euston, winging my way to a 30th in Altrincham via home to pick up my car and a change of clothes (these two events + christening at 930 tomorrow in south Birmingham = logistical mare). It was a Quaker event called “Economic justice and the sustainable global society” and it was amazing. I’ve been through every emotion from anger and disgust at the world we’ve created to hope and inspiration that we can change it. I was particularly struck by what one of the speakers said in the final discussion. Every decision you make, he observed, is building up or taking away. Furthermore we can view our consumer decisions as “prayer practice” – if spirituality is about “right relationship” (with our conception of “god” and with other people), then we can use these decisions to work towards achieving this right relationship. I came out feeling invigorated and exuberant, but slightly fearful that returning to the “real world” would immediately dash my optimism. I, perhaps surprisingly, needn’t have worried. I popped in M&S food for some tea. Spotting the guy with the reduced tickets labelling packets of sandwiches, I fancied a bargain. However, I quickly realised that this clashed with my efforts to eat less meat – no vegetarian ones were ticketed. I tentatively asked if any would be and was delighted when the chap immediately rummaged through his trolley and found the one single solitary pack of meat free sandwiches to be reduced. I actually wanted to kiss him, but resisted. The encounter made me realise that right relationships can be built even in the most unlikely settings.

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