“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”

Gordie Jackson
3 min readJun 16, 2017
We look but we do not see until one day/ gj15617

The shock of the London fire has today begun to turn into anger. The Met Police state they hope the final death toll will not reach 100. The full extent of this fire and its lasting impact will take days, probably years, to be revealed.

Yet despite the horrors of yesterday’s fire (Wednesday 15/6/17), we are all awake to a new day. Guilt can be in the back or the front of our minds when we are getting on with life while others are in deep pain.

I was reminded of the headline extract from Max Ehrmann’s poem Desiderata, my paraphrase “Despite the difficulties and horrors of what we know the world is still a beautiful place.”

So with that in mind I stepped out of the car and walked across the car park and then I saw what I hadn’t seen before, it is that I captured in the photo.

When tragedy hits it is often those that are left behind on which we focus as the dead have gone. How do they, how do we respond to what has happened?

I read an article the other week, after a traumatic event, which brought to my attention a quote from Fred Rogers a legendary American children's TV host, he made this in relation to when as a child he would witness distressing scenes on the television,

“My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.” Fred Rogers

It is tragic that such events occur though when they do we hope the response will be greater. It doesn’t take away the pain but it does bring comfort.

It does seem to be human to feel the effects greater the closer we live to a tragedy. I suppose we imagine, “That could have been me.”

Our sensitivities are heightened as we know that most days we live without thinking too much about the fragility of our lives. It was perhaps that which made me pay more attention to the killing of 19 people in a cafe in Somalia.

Each fortnight on a Thursday I meet with a small group of people to pray. I often feel lost with the magnitude of the world’s issues and wonder how my prayers will really make any difference.

Last night as I prayed I was reminded that as I walked down the hill this morning I heard the sound of a bird singing. My eyes searched for the bird and I finally found it, ever so small, perched on a roof. I thought at the time it was amazing that from such a small creature such a volume of noise could be heard and then the thought came to me as I prayed that small as I may be as the bird so as with the bird’s singing the sound of my prayer may well be felt.


PS Desiderata, the poem, is in the link below



Gordie Jackson

Speaks with a Northern Irish accent, lives in Hertfordshire, England.