Sometimes I wonder if the world will come to its senses.
In my lifetime.
Would be nice, but it’s starting to seem unlikely.
Eventually, yes. Humanity grows.
But real progress is not measured in years. Nor in centuries I’m afraid.
But look back. Study how the world was two millennium ago and you’ll see that we have progressed. We have grown. That at least gives me hope for the long run. A long run I won’t see and my grandchildren probably won’t see, but the fact that I may not experience it personally doesn’t mean that it isn’t there.
Few people it seems think beyond the next paycheck / election / lover. Planning for the long term spiritual survival of humanity is a task best left to others. Ensuring the long term physical survival of humanity so that it has a chance to embrace its long term spiritual survival is also a task best left to others.
Actually, it doesn’t even go that far. Leaving our future for others to manage is more of an unconscious habit than a deliberate choice. A habit acquired and ripened through a lifetime of being consumed and possibly overwhelmed by the task of getting past the wall that separates today from tomorrow. Once in a while we may cast a ballot or take part in a poll, but these are in the short term largely meaningless gestures that satisfy the need to say we’ve done something, but when we immediately return to our normal day to day concerns, the effect of these cursory actions is minimal.
It's good to remember, especially in these times, that humanity arcs towards justice. Sometimes that’s hard to see, or even harder to believe, but we must see. We must believe. The other choice is to give up and let the worst aspects of humanity prevail.
That won’t do. More to the point, that won’t serve the potential that humanity offers. The best among us: the noble, generous, compassionate, helpful, and insightful are also the majority among us. At times it may seem like that’s not the case, but there’s a multiplicity at the heart of goodness that propels the basic decency of humanity toward the future.
Another way to say that, and which has been said before, is that the good parts present in people will overcome the bad parts and that eventually the characteristics of avarice and malice that are all too engraved on the very bones of the societies we inhabit will fade. They may not disappear but will eventually become inconsequential.
Meanwhile, we must live our lives.
We go to work, go to the store, go to school, church, or the local bar. We can also knock on our neighbor’s door and let them know we are in the same boat. We too have troubles, children, children with troubles, joys, worries, and causes to rejoice. The most hidden truth is that we have more in common than not.
But this truth is only hidden because we don’t seek it out. It’s there for the gathering. The television brings the world to your eyes, but it can’t take your eyes to the world.
At first we live on the same block. In the same neighborhood.
A few steps more and we’re in the same city and state. Cross a river or two and you’re in the same nation.
From there, even with oceans, it’s an easy stretch to see that we share the same world.