Today happens to be 62nd anniversary of the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II to the British throne. Further back in time, on this date in 1918 – Britain granted women, aged 30 & over, the vote. A poster as part of the suffragette campaign highlighted how women could be a Mayor, Nurse, Mother, Doctor or Teacher, or Factory Hand (so contributing to society), but not have a vote, whilst men could be a convict, “lunatic”, proprietor of white slaves, unfit for service, or a drunkard (so not fully part of society as it was perceived in the early twentieth century). In later years, equality in the vote was achieved for all at aged 18. To me this is a reminder that there are many in history to whom we have to be thankful, who have ((however slowly) moved things forward so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do today.
Whilst we may appreciate these freedoms, we also need to think about how we help others: those less capable, or without the financial or educational privileges that many of us have had, or continue to have – to gain a voice, and a sense of that freedom, so that all can both receive and contribute fully to our communities. As Matthew 25:40 says‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’