Famed poet, William Wordsworth said, “The World is Too Much With Us.”

According to Wikipedia, the poet was criticizing people’s obsession with materialism while distancing themselves from healing nature, as a result of the Industrial Revolution.

Never have Wordsworth’s words held such meaning as they do today, when we are again too focused on materialism, power, greed, and selfishness, often at the expense of so much, including Mother Nature.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the world as I try to process all the bad news that assaults us daily.

The war in Ukraine, with its focus on destroying a country and its people is a tragedy that has particularly challenged my heart. The senseless destruction and devastation and loss of human life, including of innocent children, is more than my mind and heart can process.

But it’s not just the never-ending war in Ukraine. We are sorely lacking leadership in far too many places.

Our country is in desperate need of men and women that serve as honest leaders and gatekeepers to buffer all the insanity raining down. Yet the madness, lies, ugliness and spinelessness continue, in some cases, unabated. We’ve become far too accustomed and numb to it all.

How did that happen?

It has also been an incredibly challenging time for young families trying to navigate their way through years of Covid, and now a season of extreme respiratory illnesses for their children. The parenting and health challenges seem never ending.

What pains my heart most is wondering what living in constant crisis mode is doing to our children. What should be a time of joyful innocence for them is anything but.

As we discussed more bad news on CNN, I told my husband that I miss the days of boring news. When we went about our daily lives without fear of what might happen next.

A time when school safety drills weren’t for the unthinkable.

I miss my innocence, too.

I’ve never seen so many people struggling. A nurse friend told me she’s never seen such a severe mental health crisis in the emergency room, where she works without enough resources to meet the need.

Still, I maintain hope from the depths of my soul that something better awaits.

I can’t give that hope up. Not as long as I’m breathing. I refuse to just stop watching the news and then hope everything will be okay. I won’t go silent and resign myself to the frightening arrival of end times, as some people choose to do.

But the vigilance and stress of working for effective solutions is exhausting.

I’m exhausted. But I’m still hopeful, too.

My hope lies in all the good still in the world, and in the people that try daily to help others without being asked or noticed or applauded or awarded a speakership.

I find hope in our systems that despite so many evil intentions, have held strong, like we used to expect them to do without questioning.

I find hope in the young elementary students in the news last week that worked diligently for three years to raise $300,000 for inclusive playground equipment for their school, so their classmates with disabilities could have fun at recess, too. Instead of just watching.

As one young student with tears in his eyes said, “That wasn’t right.”

I wish we could bottle the hearts and souls and goodness of our youth and scatter it down over Washington and other trouble spots hoping it sticks.

Like brilliant glitter on a holiday school project.

Children are our best teachers. Best peacemakers, too. We’d be wise to use them as our example. How did so many adults lose the wonders of childhood innocence and become jaded, greedy and so selfish?

How do some look themselves in the mirror and explain to their children and grandchildren that they’ve sold their souls for personal gain. Or do they?

Why aren’t more of us working harder to right all the wrongs, to restore the sanity, to get back to more boring news. Why aren’t we holding more people accountable?

The only answer I’ve got is that it’s up to the rest of us to care enough to be bolder, get louder, pay more attention, expect more, even when we’re so tired we want nothing more than to hide out in the safe havens that we’ve created at home for ourselves and our loves ones.

I can’t give up hope now. Because in the end, that may be exactly what saves us.

I do hope better days are ahead, fueled by a resurgence of all that is still good. And there is still a wealth of that. It’s just too often silenced by the ugly noise.

While the world is now clearly too much with us, as Wordsworth’s words remind us, there is also a tremendous amount of good just waiting to catch fire.

My greatest hope is that it happens soon.

What’s yours?

Winter Images