My wife and I were staying at a resort in the north of the Philippines called Pagudpud. I would rise early, go down to the breakfast beach hut, choose a seat where there was nothing between me and the gentle swell of the China Sea massaging me mentally. I would open my notebooks and write and write.
In late afternoons, when I returned to the task, local children would provide a welcome diversion as they approached me with trays of home-made bracelets and trinkets. With wide, appealing eyes, they would simply say, ‘Sir’ then hold out their trays and silently solicit a purchase. When I accommodated two or three children, along would come an army of their friends armed with similar trays to capitalise on this western visitor’s deep pockets. The first child’s willingness to take her friends to the sudden gold rush demonstrated the concept one German sociologist referred to as a Gemeinschaft: a society where the greater community would take presidency over personal considerations.
This quality smacks of the second greatest commandment mentioned in Matthew 22 where Jesus emphasises love for neighbour as oneself. From the mouths of babes say I