Monday, September 28
Shadow

Listen to these words!

I am struck this week by what seems to be endless tragedy. Three mass shootings this month. The deaths of Sandra Bland and Samuel DuBose. The killing of Cecil the lion. And others. Unnamed. Unheard. But mourned nevertheless.

And yet, I hold out hope. While we do atrocious things. A friend today said something like, "It's not my image of God that needs hope but my anthropology." Sometimes it just seems like people are, uh, difficult to understand. We reject truth, we reject one another, we reject loving kindness. Sad.

I have, however, always believed that we are getting better. We know longer dump our trash out of the window. (We dump our trash into the ocean). But we recycle, compost, and do better. I didn't say it was speedy improvement! Unfortunately, I think we are in a deep dip within the general upswing of humanity. These dips or crisis have happened before. The last time I know of was during the pre-Renaissance time. But see! Much of the same attitudes and way of treating each other was present during that time. In fact, that is when the "big lie" was invented as a political tool. And boy, oh boy. Do we use it well today. I submit the recent Planned Parenthood video tape is an example of the big lie.

But it gets better. We slow down. Breathe. Begin again.

Listen to these words of Martin Luther King Jr.: “Truth crushed to earth will rise again. How long? Not long! Because no lie can live forever. How long? Not long! Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. Yet that scaffold sways the future and behind the dim unknown standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch over his own. How long? Not long! Because the arc of the mortal universe is long but it bends toward justice.”

Music: "How Long" by Mark Miller (markismusic at youtube.com)

by shoehorn99 at flickr.com/ CC (BY NC)
by shoehorn99 at
flickr.com/
CC (BY NC)

4 Comments

  • I agree. It’s easy to sound like you’re whistling past the graveyard at midnight when you talk this way. But even if you use a crude measure of the number of people killed in war — I mean the sheer SCALE of slaughter per unit time — there is marked improvement. WW 2 killed MILLIONS between 1939 and 1945. The Afghan War, the longest in U.S. history, killed … I dunno … “only” 5 or 6 digits’ worth. Plus, since Nagasaki, no NUCLEAR weapon has been detonated in anger. In one sense, yes, it’s hideous to talk this way, but I still insist that, at the end of the day, going from killing MILLIONS IN A HALF-DOZEN YEARS to “merely” a FEW-DOZEN THOUSAND IN 10 YEARS is objective, quantifiable improvement. We’re probably still too violent to be invited to join the Great Galactic Community, but maybe in another thousand years … who knows? …

  • Good post. I do agree that there seems to be incredible carnage. I also think that the ability for us to transmit the images/knowledge of the carnage in real time heightens our awareness. And that’s good! Awareness is always the first step toward change.

    I also think that there is more and more good that is coming out of the pain and suffering we can no longer turn a blind eye to.

    Martin Luther King was right. Life on earth is a blink in eternity. There’s a Baha’i principle that the “greater good” (humanity) triumphs over the “lesser good” (the individual, the family, the town, the country etc).

    Those who are sacrificing now are contributing, perhaps unwittingly, unknowingly to join in what James Cowles elegantly refers to as the Great Galactic Community. It might take a thousand years or more but I do believe humanity is slowing moving from adolescents into adulthood.

    • I agree! I think James was borrowing from Star Trek. 🙂

      I like the idea of the “greater good” triumphing over the “lesser good.” I should learn more about the Baha’i.

      Thank you!

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