I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the state of the world.
I know many of you have as well.
It’s a troubling and unnerving time, one not likely captured in a few words in this week’s Sunday Spirit rambling of mine.
But I need to try to make some sense of it all for my own life and well-being and future course of action. I’m thinking a bit out loud as I write this and try to process my own thoughts.
Please bear with me.
Here are a few words that immediately come to my mind.
Right. Wrong. Personal Actions. Accountability. Truth. Love.
I’ve been thinking a lot about those words lately.
Wondering how people define these very words today. Wondering if they think or care about them at all. Wondering if anyone looks at themselves in the mirror today and likes what they see.
It’s hard to argue selfishness and hated and power and greed and lies in the mirror’s honest reflection when there is only an audience of one watching and no one madly cheering you on.
I think there are a lot of people today who would probably squirm staring at their own reflection, especially if they have children and grandchildren with whose future they have been entrusted.
The questions that arise from that can be hard to dismiss.
How did so many people become so selfish and driven by power and greed?
So hateful and easily lead astray?
So willing to do anything for their own gain or beliefs?
I believe strongly that much of what ails us could be cured, or at least reasonably managed, if people would simply take responsibility for their actions. Most of us, if we’re being honest know in our guts and in our hearts when something we are doing or being asked to do, is wrong. When we are being played.
It’s not so much about judging everyone else’s actions or giving up our power to others because we feel defeated by all the rhetoric and lies and heightened, ugly emotions out there today, not to mention all the yelling and accusations being flung about.
It’s more about asking what we personally could/should be doing better as human beings to help fix this terribly misguided world in which we now live.
It’s a pretty perilous time.
Challenges of diversity, and issues of race and the border and Disney and education, and on and on and on.
It seems every discussion in life right now is a match that further fuels a raging fire, and more than little craziness.
And while we yell at each other, we solve nothing.
Aren’t you tired of it all?
Lack of political leadership, not to mention the hunger for power grabs, isn’t helping.
When I was growing up, I remember there always seemed to be a sense of right and wrong in the world and a personal responsibility for upholding that order, so humans could coexist somewhat peacefully and productively.
And survive as a human race. Kind of an important goal.
There was a sense, however false it may have been, that good people would always show up and defeat the bad guys. People like Mister Rogers helped show us the way when we felt lost. Helping out your neighbors wasn’t a foreign concept. We didn’t have to remind people all the time to be kind. We knew how and when to be respectful.
Now it seems like more people than ever before are finding themselves feeling lost. Depression and anxiety are at an all-time high, including in our youngest kids. So many people feel that any light to guide them has been rudely snuffed out.
People are retreating to their homes, creating inner sanctuaries to protect themselves and their loved ones, locking doors and shutting shades, and building a false sense of world security. Trying just to survive the bad news that seems never ending.
Meanwhile, the battles and fires and incompetence outside rages and burns, while we refuse to look out the window because so many of us are exhausted and disillusioned.
But when retreat like that, who puts out the fires?
Who stops the carnage? Who rebuilds the broken?
Who grabs leadership roles?
Who resets the sails for a more solid, satisfying and safe life journey.
Who begins a civil conversation that helps us heal and moves us forward again in the right direction?
Who takes care of all those frightened and neglected children, who through no fault of their own, must live in the dicey world we adults have shamefully created for them?
Without each one of us doing our part, nothing will change. Nothing will truly be solved. The madness will rage on. The fire will get larger and more destructive. We’ve almost become numb to it.
So how do we switch course while we still can?
While it’s not always clear cut, it does seem that the standards by which most of us have lived that once helped create a sense of world order, compassion, and shared responsibility for solving problems, seems to have taken a lengthy pause.
The fatalists among us argue this is the new world order of things.
End times, even.
Get used to it.
Maybe there is no walking back from the edge.
But I, for one, will never give up that easily.
I still believe in good over evil.
Love over hate.
Compassionate over hatred.
I still believe that love wins and it’s never too late to change course.
I still believe in the power of one person to make a difference.
That is how I will continue to live my life.
Giving wherever I can.
Loving whenever I can.
Sharing with those in need.
Marveling over the healing beauty of our planet.
Using my gifts and my faith and love in all the ways I have learned and believe that loving humans should do.
I challenge you to stand in front of a mirror this week and looking directly into your own eyes and ask yourself some hard questions about your current life path and personal choices. It can be a powerful and unnerving moment when there is no one to perform for. No power in the mirror to grab hold of. No one to hear or validate any of the lies or excuses we may tell ourselves about what we’re doing with our one precious life. When there are no accolades or adoration to be had.
Just one person doing a gut check with the results honestly mirrored back.
No hiding from that.
Maybe we all need more mirror time. Not to check out our perceived beauty, but our wounded souls.
Maybe we need more silence and alone time.
For reflection and to ask tougher questions of ourselves.
And more accountability.
We definitely need that.
More time to help us answer our children and grandchildren honestly when they ask us what we’re doing to make life better for them. And they will ask, eventually.
Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror? If not, what will you change?
Because real change begins with each one of us doing a gut check, and then taking action.
A lot of young people today are questioning when the adults in their lives are going to step up and lead for all the right reasons, to help ensure they still have a promising future, just like the ones we once took for granted, those fought for by our forefathers.
I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we took all the energy, money, time, resources, power positions, and words we now use to spotlight and go after political opponents, and promote lies and hate and division, and instead used it to solve world problems and truly make this a world again worth inhabiting for all.
Imagine what could we accomplish with that kind of courage, energy, and redirection.
I know today’s discourse is so loud and angry that it’s hard to hear yourself think about working for the change we so desperately need right now. I know you’re tired. Got lots on your plate.
But the change we seek is possible. If we are willing to stand up together and work hard for what’s right, and loudly counter what is clearly wrong, especially by working alongside our youth. Even the smallest effort can help impact needed change.
Can we do that?
Can you do that?
If you doubt you can, I encourage you to spend some time in the mirror reflecting deeply and honestly this week. Then start leading from your heart, and just maybe, we will right this precious Mother Ship. While we still can.
Because love always wins. Eventually.
Make no mistake, it’s gonna’ take all of us to get solidly back on course.
Please do your part.
For the nation’s children.
We owe them at least that much.
Peaceful rant over. For now.