Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Care

As an advocate for positive language, respectful discourse and compassion for others, it is certainly difficult to find any redeeming value in all that is going on lately.   Cynicism of politics, government and religion is rampant and understandably so, but I refuse to give up on humanity because, I am a Jesus Follower and I care.   

As a good friend pointed out, we need only look to the prophet Micah (6: 8 NIV) for words of consolation and restoration.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy 
and to walk humbly with your God.

In the days following all the partisan bickering in Washington, the unfavorable reaction of global investors and the populace’s opinion that politicians have become totally inept and ineffective to essentially govern, I heard the term ‘reset’.   The term was used to describe a possible coming societal shift and an ever deepening divide among people.  I also had a friend of mine say, “None of it matters; no ones opinion matters. Who cares?” I care.  

I care that since 2008 the world’s been suffering effects of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930’s.  Now, almost 4 years on, economies worldwide are on very shaky ground.  Some European nations are dealing with the inability to pay their debts and America inches closer by the day to becoming known as the United States of Austerity.  Our financial house is, without a doubt, in desperate need of attention, but as any train engineer will tell you, you can’t suddenly brake a speeding train without many cars derailing from the tracks.

I care that since the end of World War II the western world has prospered, but we seem to be taking it for granted.  People in the industrialized world have, for the most part, never had to worry about where their next meal was going to come from or whether the water would flow out of the faucet or if the lights would come on at the flick of a switch.  We are a spoiled society in relation to what individuals endured during the Great Depression and the Second World War.  Economic despair in Europe led to war and plunged that continent into destruction because of, almost exclusively, an evil deranged despot who seized on the fears and vulnerabilities of a desperate populace. 

I care that America has forgotten how to solve its problems.  We have become a consumer based nation with no drive to create, erect or build.  We’re very efficient at making weaponry, fast food and basic consumer products.  Real industrialization has vanished from our shores.  Collective growth and prosperity for all is a thing of the past.  Without a doubt our roads, our bridges, our schools, our public works systems, our power grid are all virtually crumbling before our eyes and we don’t seem to be bothered by it in the slightest.  

I care that the mentality of “I’ve got mine and to hell with everyone else” is not just driving us into a ditch, but off a cliff.  People need work and to feel a sense of worth again.  Not to mention, soldiers are beginning to return home and they too are in many cases looking for work.  Why are we not interested in putting people to work? Why are politicians on the right and the left only worried about themselves and their next election cycle?  What happened to the ability of those with differing views being able to come together with a realistic and sensible consensus?  Why can’t we talk to one another and listen; respectfully listen and seek to learn something to better ourselves? 

I care because as a student of politics and history I realize that economic chaos can serve as the opportune moment for fringe elements of society and extremist political ideologies to pounce on the naïve and the downtrodden.   Sadly, religion, all too often is used to foster extremism for political expediency. 

I care that so many people don’t recognize our vulnerability to acts of evil by those among us claiming allegiances in God’s name.  These fiendish opportunists and those who set them alight with their words claim fervently they are something that in reality they are not.  We saw this most recently in Norway with a violent outburst and loss of life at the hands of a deranged individual feeding off vitriolic hate speech.  In his mind the Christian world is under threat from non-Christian undesirables and they’re the reason for the world’s problems.  This is an insane echo of the not too distant past.

So yes, ‘reset’ is coming and I pray it will come from those who care.  There are good positive people among us who care.   We must be aware of the history that tends to repeat itself again and again and recognize that voices of reason, of real meaningful compromise, of respectful discourse, of truth, of compassion, and of love will ALWAYS prevail.  This is what I believe. As a Jesus Follower this is what I care about.   We must tune out the voices of discontent, the voices of hate, the voices of cynicism, the voices of ‘my way or the highway’, the voices of exploitative opportunism, the voices of disrespect, the voices of charlatans and the voices that do not speak the truth.   

So to close, I will answer my friend’s claim, by saying that in the face of it all, opinions do matter.  Those of us who do care must speak out with truth and positive optimism for all walking humbly with God.  It will make a difference. 

I care.  Do you?


1 comment:

  1. I like your sentiments, Ray...
    It's critically important that we all begin to care more and then be agents of positive change....