Monday, January 22, 2018

We Need Hope

I write a lot about God and/or the ‘god concept’ that holds within it the search for all that is good.  The human spirit needs hope.  It is hope that enables us to keep going in the face of adversity.

We seem to be faced with so many disasters in our world today: a government shut-down that highlights the polarization that now grips our nation; the senseless mass killings that seem to have become epidemic; the cascade of natural disasters from out-of-control fires to floods and mud slides to snow and ice storms that take lives and yield massive damage.  So many people are losing faith in the prospect of a better world.

Life has always progressed in a pattern of two steps forward then one step back.  We’re in a backward phase now . . . and that will change.  We need to step back from the immediate and take in the broader picture of the flow of life.  Each era experiences both tragedy and growth while it adds to the wonders to enhance the lives of the next generation.  When the short-term view shows us disaster, we need to call upon the long view to reignite hope.

What primitive man, carving the first image on the cave wall, could foresee the world of communications we know today?  What scribe in the dark ages laboriously hand copying a manuscript could foresee a world of educated people reading and writing as a matter of course?  What physician of the Middle Ages, bleeding his patient to release the ‘bad humors’, could foresee the wonders of modern medicine?  What soldier bombing and killing the enemy in WWII could foresee Germany, Japan and the U.S. as allies working together for peace?

In every century we can see progress in the human psyche.  Our basic human nature, attracted to both good and evil, doesn’t change but little by little there is an increase in consciousness, expanding our understanding of what it means to be human, showing concern for our fellow man, growing in our
capacity to love, employing empathy and compassion; we saw it happening in people rushing to help others (complete strangers) in the recent disasters.  But at the same time malice grows in some segment of society: the Nazis in the last century, the jihadists in this one, and malhuman acts get worse in their ferocity.  The majority of people see the wrongness of it but others are confused and even attracted to it.  We’ve eliminated God from the equation and with nowhere to look to highlight ‘the good’—many feel lost.

God awaits humanity to discover that the only way to sustain this planet is to see it as one interdependent interacting world.  We will survive or perish together.  We have yet to fully awaken the human spirit—to learn to love one another and forgive our enemies.

Can we invest hope in humanity creating a better world?  It seems like an impossible dream, but consider those seemingly impossible advances from ages past.


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