Earlier this week a cross-party parliamentary committee of inquiry published what it describes as "a call to hope". Faith in the Future challenges everyone with an interest in our nation's future to re-examine the decisions taken in every sector of society by applying five questions before any new action is taken:
- Does my action encourage people to develop positive relationships in their families and communities?
- Is my action socially and globally responsible?
- Does my action promote a climate of trust and hope?
- Does my action promote self-esteem and respect for others?
- Does my action encourage people to fulfil their God-given potential?
The authors acknowledge that there are no 'magic bullets' for addressing the deep and complex social problems affecting our nation. Yet they believe we all play a role in strengthening (or weakening) our sense of security, opportunity and well-being: from national and international institutions, through local government, business, the 'third sector', families, neighbourhood and local organisations and associations, to "every person, every policy-maker, every opinion-former from the occupant of 10 Downing Street to the humblest 'man or woman in the street.'"
In some areas it is easy to see how others might apply these principles - for instance, as with today's long-awaited decision by the Government to extend the right to request flexible working to the 4.5 million parents of children aged up to 16. What about ourselves? What about you? How will you in future give greater emphasis to the values of relationships, responsibility, trust, self-esteem, and potential in the decisions you take?