Encouragement for the Journey
Greetings Fellow Traveller,
This week Fleur and I saw the movie: ‘The Imitation Game.’ It is the story about the British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst and pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing, who was a key figure in cracking Nazi Germany’s naval Enigma Code which helped the allies, win the Second World War.
The film spans the key periods of Turing’s life: his unhappy teenage years at boarding school; the triumph of his secret wartime work on the Enigma codes; and the tragedy of his post – war decline following his conviction in 1952 for homosexual acts, when such behaviour was still criminalised in the UK. He accepted treatment with oestrogen injections (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. He died in 1954 from cyanide poisoning. An inquest determined his death as suicide.
In 2009 following an Internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British Government for the ‘appalling way he was treated.’ In 2013 Queen Elizabeth granted him a posthumous pardon.
In 1999, Time Magazine named Turing as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century and stated: The fact remains that everyone who taps a keyboard, opens a spread sheet or a word processing program, is working on an incarnation of a Turing Machine.” That is an amazing legacy for a man that in later life suffered rejection and ridicule because of his sexuality.
I like the word Legacy, it is such a wonder – filled word, which offers us so much, and yet at times is not always appreciated in our instant, “I want it now” culture. Today, in our Kids N All service we celebrate New Zealand. I remind you that in different ways we are always experiencing in the legacy of others. In the good things and not so good things.
Transferring the concept of legacy to our Community of St Aidans, I ask you what kind of legacy do you want to leave those who will follow you? I hope it will embrace compassion, offer acceptance of difference, openness to creativity, all wrapped around with extravagant love.
That is a legacy…. What do you say?
Meanwhile Peace within our communal legacy