There is a saying that some people cannot handle the truth. I wonder if it would also be true to say that some people can’t handle prosperity? When I hear individuals complain vociferously about this country, this century, and all our present problems, I wonder where else would they like to be. Yet, I understand the anxiety which drives the complaints to the surface. I see the evil of our times. I just wonder (after reading way too many history books) when has it not been this way? When has humanity truly valued ourselves as a whole and enjoyed our free will as a gift in which we are able to choose good and God? Free will, a mighty gift, comes at a mighty cost.
I don’t have answers mind you – I’m not Google – and in our “Yahoo culture” where many search for meaning through information-driven technology, I find I am silenced by all those voices so much more knowledgeable than myself. Yet still, I wonder about humanity, and our future, and our ability to be content. The Garden of Eden wasn’t enough for us…
Earlier today, as I kneaded the bread dough and heard the birds chirping, saw the new buds on the trees, felt the warm spring breeze waft through the house, I felt the immensity of our connected humanity. We are bound together through time and space. The peoples of the past have made our present world possible. If it weren’t for men and woman who have gone before, I would not hear the hum of the washing machine as it cleans my kids’ clothes; I would not be typing on a computer; I would not be worried about a nuclear war; I would not know the glory of our beautiful planet and realize the fragility of our ecosystem.
And what will we bequeath to our future brothers and sisters, the ones we will never meet but will know us by our fruit? What will we pass on to them? It is true, we are handing on some of the greatest technological advancements that the human race has ever known. We have the opportunity to causally and frequently engage in direct contact with people from all over the globe. We have more and better food, medicine, housing, and entertainment opportunities than ever before. Yet, as the world situation once again heats up, as extremists murder in the name of God, as individuals choose to distract their minds from anything too serious or long term, as families fracture under the pressure of time and emotional breakdowns, as the decisive threat of nuclear war is bandied about, so I wonder – what do we offer of ourselves? Have we improved on the inside while we struggle to improve our outside? Do we have minds and hearts capable of knowing what to do with all that we have accomplished?
With knowledge comes responsibility. We not only know how to cure, we know how to kill – on a massive scale. We know how to destroy our history and our inheritance. Perhaps, while we march forward with all our social improvements, let us consider becoming a race of people who can choose contentment. Let it not be said of us, that humanity perished because we could not handle our success.