Sheffield Humanists Andrew Copson Statement
Sheffield has accredited pastoral support workers and celebrants ready to respond to the challenge of this crisis in our city. Our CEO at Humanists UK, Andrew Copson, offers the following useful statement:
'Given our focus on promoting human welfare and happiness in the one life we have, we feel a special responsibility to play our part in responding to the crisis.With the number of infections and casualties poised to dramatically accelerate, this is not the time for despair. Instead, it is time for rational hope and optimism. Both our humanist community and our global human family will see this through. In light of modern science, humanity is no longer blind in the face of any pandemic. Scientists on every continent are working hard and sharing their findings with one another in an unprecedented display of international cooperation.Even as we physically distance from one another, we know that socially – even though remotely – we must look to move closer to each other and strengthen, not loosen, the bonds of friendship and community. Now more than ever it is important to think and act as a humanist: look out for one other, value kindness and practice it, exercise good judgement and take due account of expert scientific and medical advice. (Please, steer clear of conspiracy theories.) We all have responsibilities to one another and in a crisis such as this it is all the more important that we think about others and make responsible choices. I am reminded of the words of humanist and stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius, who had this to say on the subject of resilience: ‘Peer deeply into yourself. There is a source of strength that will spring up within you, if only you look.’ His words are not revelation or fancy. They are based on solid observation of the human capacity for resilience and courage in a crisis. We all have that in our nature and by connecting with each other, that resilience can not just be a strength for ourselves, but rise up to carry us all through this situation together.'