Is the world broken? Are we in the end times? Has humanity run its course?
These are all questions that seem to arise from fellow dog walkers whilst walking round the park in the morning. Most have just seen the news and so need to ponder out loud, need a sounding board for their thoughts whilst they are alone.
Now the Ukraine/Russia war is coming up to a year old and Europe and US has stop standing on the sidelines that makes on think of the “wars and rumours of wars”. And we too often forget the wars raging through much of Africa; the drug wars in South America and the mass migration that has caused. Then there is the huge earthquake in Turkey and Syria, with at last count over 15,000 people dead. Plus flooding in New Zealand, floods in this country, fires in other places. And let us not also forget the covid pandemic.
Is this the end times? Has humanity ran its course?
I found it hard to say whilst standing in the park, which is a man made phenomena, listening to the birds coming to the end of their morning chorus, see people who have got to know each other over the last three years of pandemic, who have become friends, become supporters and confidants of each other, who care and look out for each other.
There is so much good in the world, I believe, that too often we take it for granted. We see the big things – which are horrendous; the wars, the deaths, the natural disasters, the man made disasters, the hatred – that too often we don’t see the small things. Not just those random acts of kindnesses but the day to day “Good morning”s, holding doors open. In fact I need to quote the poem that was on Beth’s post this morning, Small Kindnesses because this proves to me that humanity has not run its course, is not done yet. Things happen but there are too many kindnesses going on for it to be the end!
I’ve been thinking about the way,
when you walk down a crowded aisle,
people pull in their legs to let you by.
Or how strangers still say “bless you” when someone sneezes,
a leftover from the Bubonic plague.
“Don’t die,” we are saying.
when you spill lemons from your grocery bag,
someone else will help you pick them up.
Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it.
To smile at them and for them to smile back.
For the waitress to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now.
So far from tribe and fire.
Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy,
these fleeting temples we make together when we say,
“Here, have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.”by Danusha Lameris, Small Kindnesses
I’m planning a follow to ask “What does God think?”