There is no doubt that Yorkshire Tea has had a rough week. The company has faced a barrage of criticism on social media after the new Chancellor was pictured holding a giant bag of their product. Yorkshire Tea has been forced to remind Twitter users that those posting the increasingly irate comments are just “shouting at tea” and that humans run their account. They have asked for everyone to show more kindness to one another.
In his letter to the Colossians, St Paul instructs us to “clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
It is an invitation to attain a high standard of behaviour and I am acutely aware of how often I fall short. I’m not alone: over the course of the last few years there has been a noticeable decline in the tone of public discourse in this country. Nowhere is this more apparent than on social media, which seems to act as an outlet for incredible levels of anger. Yorkshire Tea is just the latest (and arguably most bizarre) victim of this trend.
This Lent, rather than just giving up booze and biscuits, I wonder if there is scope for all of us to make a conscious effort to be kind, less eager to judge and swifter to forgive one another? I’m certainly finding it to be a task that is easier said than done.