Volume 91, Issue 7

Tuesday, September 9, 1997

frosh 'n' tasty


Diana: a moral comment

Re: Diana Princess of Wales and University Education

To the Editor:

By now everyone on the globe within reach of a radio or TV set will have heard about the death of Princess Diana. Of the many things that are being said in the aftermath of her death there are two things that I am thinking of at the moment.

The first is the sense of guilt some are making reference to. The photographers who chased her car through the streets of Paris are said to be guilty, in some way, of her death. Sept. 2 reports about the drunken state of her chauffeur are giving others the opportunity to lay most of the blame for the accident on him. Others would spread the blame and sense of guilt further. They argue that all those who have profited from the lurid or suggestive photos of the princess, or perhaps even that all of us who take voyeuristic pleasure from them, have blood on their hands.

The second thing that comes to mind is why Diana will be remembered with much affection. I am thinking of three contributions (at least) Diana has made that I have heard people commenting on: Her work on behalf of victims of AIDS, her efforts to put an end to the use of land mines and her work on behalf of orphans. These things we consider good. They mean that she has tried to make the world a better place for others.

Some of us are just beginning our studies at university. Others are in their second or third year or further along. Why do we study? Do we study mainly to better ourselves materially, to acquire power and prestige or just security from the economic hardships that seem to fall on so many? Perhaps we want to lead some financially influential corporation, perhaps even to enrich ourselves from the publishing of scandal stories or from other activities of questionable worth: or do we study to be of service to others, to make the world a better place than it was when we first received the gift of life from God?

In the Bible story of Cain and Abel, Cain suggests that he is not the "keeper" of his brother. He is not responsible for him. This is portrayed as an evil – it seems to me, a primal evil.

Whatever else can be said of Princess Diana, it can at least be said that she understood something of what it means to try to do good for others in whatever capacity is available to one. She knew something of what it meant to look out for, to "keep" her sisters and brothers who shared life with her. Could this not also provide some bearings for us during our years of study? That our years of learning can also be directed to the service of others and of our world?

Michael Veenema
Christian Reformed Chaplain of U.W.O.

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997