Sunday, April 13, 2014
I hear people talk about 'going back to' something. Going back to a more polite, honest and civilized society. Going back to the truths of the founding fathers. Going back to an earlier morality. Going back to 'the way it used to be'. If I have learned anything, it is that nothing ever goes back, things only go on, go forward. Everything is changing all the time, usually in small increments but often these days in leaps and bounds due to the advances in technology. So where does that leave us?
It leaves us with personal choices at least. We, ourselves, can choose to behave in a more moral, civilized and honest way if that is important to us. We must certainly choose to behave in these ways if we want our children to learn those things which we hold valuable. But we can not expect anyone else to live that way just because we think it is a better way to live.
I do not see our society 'going back' to anything but we could go forward to rediscovering some of the gems of civilization which we have tossed out with the bathwater. There is a great movement lately toward rediscovering the joys and importance of community. Our technology can tend to keep us stuck in rooms alone, or with others, all of us staring at the screen of some electronic device or other. We are being 'alone together' more than being together in any sense of the word.
But we really do need each other, we need to take the time to look into the eyes of other people. We need to give them time to speak their thoughts and be fully present to them as we listen. We all have wisdom to share, insights and ideas to share. Each of us has our own unique gifts to bring to the table, gifts that the community needs, that our group of friends and/or acquaintances will be better for sharing. Community requires patience and tolerance and communication skills and maybe we aren't willing to do the work that is required. I don't know. I'm just musing here, out loud, on the net.
I do not know if this movement toward community will be successful or not. I do not know if anything will get any better. Perhaps things will continue to become worse, more chaotic, more violent, less respectful, more intolerant of differences, more isolating. I do not know how to keep the human race from sprinting over the edge of the cliff into self-destruction.
My plan is to love the people with whom I come into contact. To shine a light into this corner of the universe one day and one person at a time. That is all I know how to do. If they choose to pay it forward and do likewise, wonderful. If they do not, it makes no difference. This is my choice. This is what I can do with all my heart and mind and soul and strength.