Avoiding “a trap for fools”
In times of present trouble it can help to reach for wisdom from ages past. I write in the aftermath of terrorist attacks on Christchurch mosques, so hopefully you’ll excuse the philosophical tone of my column.
I’ve always loved Rudyard Kipling’s immortal poem, “If”:
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too”
“If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools
Fellow fans will recall that the poem concludes with a promise that if you, the reader, can do all those things then all the world will be yours.
As I write, MPs are considering what changes could be made to try to ensure that the events of 15 March 2019 are never repeated. While this is perfectly proper, we should recall that events of tragic significance are often the catalyst for opportunists (Kipling’s “knaves”) to enlist grief to their own cause.
As your local MP, please know that I’ll be exercising my best version of common sense – rather than responding in a kneejerk reaction – when it comes to considering law changes in the realm of firearms, our security and intelligence services and so on. Our noble aims will only be realised if we all approach this task with cool heads. And, as Rudyard Kipling might say, that’s a big “If’.
Please contact me any time through my electorate office at 365 Main Road (SH16), Huapai, via email@example.com or 09 412 2496.
Chris Penk MP (MP, Helensville electorate)