Sunday, December 06, 2009
Neither Silence Nor Consent
Amongst all the “faith” testimonies of great feats accomplished in the last year, I was sure that what I had done on Friday qualified. In my eyes, it was great, and in my husband’s eyes, but I have learnt from experience that not everyone shares my definition of greatness, or my definition of an act prompted by faith.
On Friday, I closed down my Royal Bank of Scotland account.
I had been following the discussion between the government and the Royal Bank’s directors. The directors want to give large bonuses to key staff members adding up to billions of pounds. The government doesn’t want them to, seeing as they are now the biggest shareholder. It would seem to me that there is nothing about the performance of the directors or their key workers that deserves any kind of reward. They and other greedy banks and money-minded institutions plunged us into recession – and they want rewarded for it?
I had had enough of them. I would like to think the directors would stick to their guns and actually resign if the government sticks to their guns, but I live in a world where compromises happen.
My paltry sum of money is not really going to be missed, no doubt. I confess that it wasn’t my main account. When Joe and I married we set up a joint account with another bank, but Joe never got around to shifting his money in, which means that it’s joint only in name, not in practice. So I suppose that closing my Royal Bank account down wasn’t that heroic or great.
The lady behind the desk asked me why I was closing the account, thinking perhaps there were things she could do to sort things out. I explained most carefully that I had no issue with her, or her colleagues, or any other bank stuff – it was the directors and their big bonuses that I had led to me closing my account. End of conversation really, although we both admitted that it was sad. I got the impression that I was one of very few taking direct action and my stand was barely a whisper on the economic stage.
Plato said “Your silence gives consent.”
I wasn’t silent and I didn’t give my consent.
Was it an act prompted by faith? The Bible speaks a lot about integrity. It may not have an obviously spiritual tag to it, but all of life is spiritual – not just the bits we label spiritual.