This weekend I picked up a book and read, “This book appears at a time when only Western civilization – European and American – but the civilizations and the cultures of Asia and Africa as well, are in a condition of violent crisis. The whole world is affected by a malaise of the soul, a confusion of the mind, a conflict of social, philosophical, scientific, artistic and literary systems, theories and experiments.” I would have assumed this was written in the latest edition of Time or The Economist. It describes 2014. But I was holding a worn looking book, so I checked the copyright date. It was written in 1933. America was in depression and Europe was hurtling toward WWII.
Has there ever been a time when that paragraph isn’t on target? Is this not a statement of flow and flux of humanity? There are so many things wrong around the world and with 24/7 media coverage bombarding us with information regarding those wrongs we seem perched on the edge of oblivion. It is so easy for someone to sound authoritative by proclaiming doom and gloom. All one has to do is wait long enough and something bad will happen. Then they can claim to be wise and prophetic. But any fool knows all things come to an end and bad things will happen. The challenge is to not be part of the problem but to be part of something that will make things better. Our task is not to wring our hands and promote despair but to promote health of mind and spirit.
It is not being Pollyannaish to look for and speak of hope and of the good people, which make up the majority of humankind. Paul was right when he said if things be of good report. Think on them.
Written by Roger Bothwell on October 20, 2014
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