In a few weeks’ time we shall be witnessing current and former members of the services at Remembrance parades and there will be lots of saluting.
The origin of the salute was described to me once as dating from the times of knights in armour with full face visors. As two knights approached each other you wouldn’t know if they were friend or foe, so it was customary to lift the visor as you approached so that you could see it was ‘friend’ rather than ‘foe’. That action of raising the visor became the salute.
Fear of the unknown is a powerful force. None of us likes to be facing something which is uncertain with no clear fixed points to navigate by. Unpredictability is a key trigger point for fear. We all like to be operating in ways that mean that what happens around us can happen with reasonable predictability. The more often we face unknown situations of a particular kind means that we grow in experience and can make safer forecasts about what is likely to happen. Driving on strange roads for instance.
The recent spate of clown incidents has highlighted this fear of the unknown. Suddenly to have a confrontation with an anonymous person in an isolated area at night dressed in such a way that makes it impossible to identify them can be scary at the best of times. The sense of menace is heightened by the carrying of an implement in a threatening way, which together with the image of the clown in a story by master of horror, Stephen King escalates the reaction.
The whole idea of it is simply bizarre and crazy in a sick way. Their deviant minds are playing on the image of terror these clowns create. The level of the ludicrous was taken to new extremes by the story I heard of someone dressed as Batman who started attacking these clowns and driving them off! Even Batman has his dark side though!
It simply underlines that we are living in a crazy world and that each of us must seek to keep a cool head in crazy times. Times of such lunacy eventually pass and things move on. The Bible reminds us that those who are up to mischief often choose the night time and seek to hide themselves. We should all do our best to walk in the light and be open and honest in all our dealings with one another. The time will come when these idiots will look back upon their actions with shame that they could be so stupid!