Have you ever come out of yourself as you have been thinking, and seen life as if you were looking down on yourself? I had one of those moments at the weekend and have decided to share it with you.

Sometimes we can think too much rather than just get on with living. But also it is important to stop and reflect at times, and the other day I found myself doing this unconsciously.

I was in Garvald with my family. As I’ve said before it’s a favourite haunt of ours, a beautiful village nestled in the foothills of the Lammermuirs, with a cosy pub that serves delicious food. It’s a staging post for travel into the wilds that sit just to the south along a twisting narrow road.

We were enjoying a balmy sunny evening. It was a simple time, a picnic laid out, with the sound of my children laughing and playing together. Wishes were floating in the warm breeze. Since everyone was preoccupied with having a good time, I went for a wee wander with my youngest.

The Papana Water flows by the village at the end of the field by the playpark and so I ventured there. Still, the only sound in the air I could really discern was that of my children laughing and playing.

When I got to the burn it trickled rather than flowed. Evidence of children’s play activities could be seen: a makeshift dam built with pebbles, larger stones re-arranged to form a mini bridge. Then new sounds came to me. I heard the bells of nearby Nunraw Abbey, at least I assumed that was what they were. Then wood pigeons joined in with a chorus of their own. I stood, holding my wee boy, soaking in the simplicity of the paradise I felt we were in.

Lewis must have felt it too, because he started to gargle and blow raspberries. And it was at this moment that I came out of myself for a moment. I came out of all the worries and anxieties that bide with us in life constantly and often stop us seeing the wonder of being alive and well.

I felt the burden of enormous privilege. Not the kind of privilege you can measure in the stock market or bank account, of course. Yet nonetheless, I did feel rich beyond measure at that moment.

I know friends who are going through awful times just now, and there can be a sense of indulgence or even guilt when you feel elated by your own joy of life. But rolling yourself in that joy, and recognising the privilege in doing so, does not mean you lack empathy with others who are struggling and suffering. Quite the opposite, as my thoughts turned towards them.

And hence why I used the term burden. Perhaps responsibility would be a better word to use. Whatever we call it, I felt it at that moment. Because in my heightened sense of privilege I understood that the message within that emotion was that privilege of any kind should be used, not protected.

There are many people with privilege who believe the latter rather than the former, of course. But if we find ourselves in a position of privilege in any way, understanding we are lucky and fortunate compared to others, if we wrap it up and keep it as ‘our precious’, denying others an opportunity to share in the possibilities it affords, well then we sour it.

But let’s be honest, it is not always easy to share is it? We tell our children that sharing is good, that it makes life better, that we get things back as well as having to give. We often lose that lesson as we grow up.

And so that is why I cannot keep silent about the desperate people who are now risking everything in the hope and belief that our privileged society is one with an ability and heart to share its good fortune.

Can you imagine if in the 1930s those persecuted by the Nazis had had an opportunity to flee. Would we have then said, no, sorry there are over six million of you, we cannot help? Would we have built a fence against this ‘swarm’?

That was the thought which overwhelmed me that evening. The simple and wonderful joys around me were an impossible dream for those fleeing the horror of war and atrocity. If I was in their desperate situation, would I bundle up my children and family with love and do my best to take them to a place where such simple joys can once again be a reality? I am without doubt I would... and likely so would you.

Yet we now seem to be huddling around our privilege, not allowing anyone near ‘our precious’, and if we continue to do so, will we realise that we have soured and contaminated the very thing we want to protect: our way of life and our humanity.

I wandered back to my family, my thoughts back in the moment, and the need to go soon and get the bairns ready for bed.

Few, I suspect, know about Garvald’s tranquil joy, fewer still of those who are risking their lives to reach us. But that small place has given me a sense of how I must use my burden of responsibility and a broader understanding of the teaching to ‘Love thy neighbour as yourself’.