The other day I was walking past a delightful garden and I saw the owner, an older lady, transplanting flowers. I looked up and noticed that directly above her a large tree with dead branches overhung the plot. Surely, before too long the dead branches would fall and crush the flowers, or perhaps if workmen were sent to cut the branches they would surely damage the flower beds.

And that is what we do. When we can’t manage to deal with the big things in life we set about doing little things. We can’t deal with our lives, so we re-arrange the furniture. We can’t deal with world poverty so we donate a pair of shoes. We can’t face the littleness of our own being, so we have a nation that elects a president who constantly tells us how great he is.