Sunday, October 19, 2014

The World We Build

       The attitudes we hold, the values we support, our prevailing outlook on life; these constitue the DNA of the world we build.  We have come to overvalue the objective and undervalue the subjective dimension of reality--love, justice, hope, faith, meaning, purpose . . . these are the subjectives that shape the living.

       This morning as I sat watching the news I was swept with a feeling that can't be put into words.  Silent tears rolled down my cheeks--all the news was so crushingly bleak:  the ebola plague; Islamic State terrorists advancing and brutally seizing territory; refugees by the thousands having fled their homes without provisions or possessions needing help to survive; weather anomalies ravaging communities confirming the reality of climate change.  The suffering 'have-nots' demanding more assistance while the 'haves', wanting to protect themselves from the financial burdens and health risks, calling for border closings and flight bans . . . We want to put on blinders to protect ourselves and hide from the threats--we can't!  We have yet to realize we are one world.

       There is wide spread loss of faith in all our institutions from government to health care to education to religion.  Those institutions which past ages have brought forth to organize living in complex societies are under siege--yet it is the nature of civilization to require institutions to manage an orderly society.  When serious problems arise and institutions fail to yield a neat quick-fix we rebel against them and scape-goat whoever happens to occupy the leadership role--sometimes it is the leader who needs replacing but more likely it is the institution that has fallen into disarray and needs restructuring.  That monumental task requires support and cooperation on all sides.

       At present we are in a global crisis and there is fear, anger and condemnation loose in the world with demonstrations and demands for answers--as if such were possible--like answers pre-exist and the right person could pluck one out!  But the problems arise from a multitude of subjective choices made over time--the solutions must be arduously created by our collective choices.  Only when our politicians move away from polarization and name-calling to engage in working cooperatively will there be an attitude shift throughout society that enables us to shape our world for betterment with conscious choices.

      I quote two great minds of the 20th Century who could foresee danger on the horizon:

Einstein is credited with saying: "We must learn to think in a new way"

Teilhard de Cardin has written:  "The Age of Nations is past.  The task before us now, if we would not parish, is to build the earth.

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