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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Meeting of the Parliament 26 March 2019

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, South of Scotland Enterprise Bill: Stage 1, South of Scotland Enterprise Bill: Financial Resolution, Business Motion, Decision Time, Financial Scam Prevention


Time for Reflection

Good afternoon. Our first item of business today is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader is the Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, who is the director of Christian Aid Scotland.

Good afternoon. You have a great deal of work to do, so I offer a short reflection and, I hope, a lens.

I invite you to call to mind somebody that you love. Close your eyes and imagine the shape of her eyes, the curve of his smile, the sound of their laughter. Call to mind the way that he smells, the way that she feels and that look they give you that says, “I’ve had just about enough.”

If you can hold that face, that feeling, that love, consider this: 100 trillion cells, 7 million years of evolution, 40 weeks’ gestation and years of love, lessons and laughter—tears, no doubt, too—have gone into that person that you brought to mind, who holds your heart.

Now consider this: our planet home holds more than 7 billion souls. Every single one is a unique, one-off and never-to-be-repeated-ever-again creation. We are more than 7 billion, and behind every number is somebody’s name, and behind every statistic is somebody’s story, dream, unique purpose.

What if, when I ask where we are from, our first thought is not Edinburgh, Glasgow, South Carolina or Scotland, but, “I’m a citizen of planet earth. I’m part of a global neighbourhood, intricately interrelated—one family, and indivisible, as vast as the ocean and as intimate as a face, a smell, a feeling, a touch.”

“Them and us” is a myth that we can no longer afford to tolerate. Never has it been more important for the world to embrace this truth: no one is an only child.

Scotland, though small, is a beacon. Climate justice is grounded in there being no “them and us”. Will we stretch for what is necessary rather than settle for what is feasible now? Will we embed policies that cherish those who are pushed to the margins, even when it means all of us moving over, a small part of something bigger?

Thank you for governing us well. When decisions loom, look wide—salty drop in a deep blue ocean; grain of sand on an endless white beach; leaf on a tree in a vast, majestic forest; petal in a sea of poppies; blade of grass in a field green and growing, we are part of something bigger.

Note in a song, voice in a choir, instrument in a symphony of sound; word on a page, chapter in a story, character in an evolving saga; face in a crowd—one in a million, a billion, or 7 billion, or 8 billion—we are part of something bigger.

Being human depends on there being others to be human with, so let us embrace our interdependency and, when decisions loom, look wide. Thank you.