Duel, Dual, Jewel…

Teenage grandchildren were chatting – loudly. ‘Duel’ was mistaken for ‘Dual’… then ‘Jewel’ entered the conversation. Misunderstanding became confusion.

Duel… I grew up watching duels on children’s television – Zorro’s rapier duels, Robin Hood’s sword duels, cowboys’ gun duels. The duel was the story’s climax… goodie beats baddie; justice prevails.

…Today sport is civilised man’s version of the duel. We choose our own goodies and baddies

Musing… The duel’s picture of good against evil… at school singing ‘When a knight won his spurs’, fighting against ‘the dragons of anger, the ogres of greed.’ …international, national duels… man’s aggressive nature… choosing which duels I should engage with and which I should avoid…

Dual… Dual usually links with another word – dual income, dual carriageway, dual control, dual nature, dual exhaust… one thing with two parts

Issues are often presented with two diametrically-opposed opinions… abortion, immigration, Brexit, politics, religion, strike action…

Archie Coates, the new vicar of Holy Trinity Brompton, was asked about sexuality, same-sex marriage and LGBT issues. Archie said: ‘You can either pronounce from the platform… this is our view on this, this and this – in which case you produce a kind of unity. But I think there’s a more beautiful unity…’

He talked about unity in diversity, drawing together different people with different opinions.

Musing… The importance of unity… bringing together those divided by dual opinions, attitudes and actions.

Jewel… 30 years ago we went to a school parents evening for daughter-Jo. Her English teacher, a lovely elderly gentleman, said: ‘Jo’s a treasure.’ I asked whether we should bury her in a field…

Musing… the value of people, the people I chat with, those I pass in the street. Each one’s a treasure, a precious jewel.

…Watching the floods in Pakistan on the news last night… the millions losing homes, possessions, livelihoods, relations… all individuals, valued and valuable.

And the grandchildren? They’ve had their duels… not always fairly fought; they’ve developed dual opinions and personalities; but to us of course they’re jewels!

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