Thought for the Day

My drive to the train station often coincides with “Thought for the Day” on the Today programme. You get religous leaders having an open forum for a few minutes on any topical subject.

Sometimes you get the most banal platitudes, sometimes there is commentary that it interesting and occasionally there is real insight that makes me node my head.

Today was one of the later days. Sacks, the Chief Rabbi, was commenting on recent scientific study that stated most often childhood obesity was based on genes. Parents could wipe their heads in relief that if little Johnny wasn’t so little is wasn’t their fault.

I’m paraphrasing, but Sacks very simply said that this discounts free will. Circumstance, background or even genes aside, you do determine how you live your life. In the case of children, who’s free will and conscience is not yet fully formed, parental will substitutes.

I couldn’t agree more. We seem to have drifted into a society where fault lays everywhere but with the individual. True, life is unfair, some people have genes which predispose them to being skinny others to being large. That is unfair and its hard. Yet free will holds true. A predisposition to your body retaining fat does not mean you have to be fat. It does mean you have to eat less and exercise more. That is massively unfair, but, you know, that’s life.

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