Am I the only one who gets overwhelmed at the sheer magnitude of bad things in the world? War, famine, climate change, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, sickness, a healthcare crisis, the cost of food, and the price of gas…don’t even get me started! When does it end? Is this just life? Do we just deal with it all? Maybe I am a product of my generation, but boy does it give me anxiety.
I want to help: help the refugees, help save the planet, help those who are in need. We try to do all the right things: we recycle and compost instead of throwing everything in the trash, we buy locally in order to support the economy, we conserve electricity and drive only when and as necessary. We support a number of charities, and generally try to be decent human beings. But what does any of it matter? Our actions in and of themselves aren’t going to change the world!
Or will they? After all, Jesus was just one man, albeit a pretty awesome one, and to be totally fair he had a little help from above. But he also gathered like minded supporters and look how that turned out. Not the crucifixion part of course, but everything that came afterwards. Okay, well not everything; the Church has done and been responsible for some super questionable things. But we also do a lot of good in the world. Right?
Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis (although I hope this is not mid life yet), but I often find it all so insurmountable. No matter what we do, we are just one family, and can we really make any difference?
The kids though—boy they are just designed for social justice. Their enthusiasm for doing what is right gives me hope that someday the adults will get their stuff together and see the world through the eyes of the children. My youngest will often ask about the people he sees in the streets, standing at intersections with a cup out, hoping for some change. He will say that if he had a million dollars he would give it all away so people wouldn’t be homeless.
Then we have billionaires trying to race each other into space. What sort of sense does that make? Why spend so many resources on exploring the universe when we can’t even take care of the one tiny planet with which we have been entrusted? We can’t even feed and clothe and protect the people in this world. Where does that disconnect happen, and how do we reprogram that? Does all of this seem ridiculous to anyone else?
I find I have to remind myself that everything starts at the grassroots, just like Jesus did. Seek out like minded individuals, and together we can change the world. It’s all about one step at a time, one day at time, once cause at a time. Progress is slow, but then again, slow and steady still gets us to the end.