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Monday, April 06, 2015

During the Q&A on Saturday, a visitor asked if the warfare currently underway in the Middle East doesn't take priority on our list of things needing direct action?

Without hesitation my response was, "no, climate change must be acknowledged and accepted before anything else can be addressed."

I found myself wondering on the short drive back to my apartment if this is what I truly believe?

It was then that I realized how enured I've become to the horrific violence we're living with every day, and how desensitized I'm becoming.  Maybe we all are falling victim to an acceptance of a level of inhumanity that not too long ago would have been unthinkable.

Not only on "the dark continent of Africa," but in our own streets against the homeless; against young black and brown men by police who have become our para-military forces; on television in a constant stream of crime shows; stories of unsolved "cold" cases; an airliner with a young depressive at the controls crashing into an Alpine mountainside; helpless young people gunned down on a faraway college campus; young women being kidnapped and sold into sex trafficking never to return; so much, so awful, so endless ... .

Is this the way of the world that has always been and that we're only now -- through the insistence of technology -- unable to escape knowing about?  Are we being de-civilized at an accelerated rate?

... then I found myself admitting that the foreground of my life; and maybe all of our lives, doesn't reflect that reality at all.  That my days are made up of good friends doing great things, kind thoughts and pleasurable prospects ... while in the background there is world misery that is almost too much to incorporate without being threatened with the onset of soul-searing depression of the kind that shared the controls with that young mentally disturbed pilot!

Maybe it's the result of the fact that in ancient times only the catastrophic (earthquakes, wild fires, and other natural disasters) would extend beyond the borders of our villages until a crier from the other side of the mountain brought news weeks and maybe months after the fact.  We were protected by the isolation of the times in which we were living.  That no longer is possible.  If ISIS invades Syria within hours we have not only a count of the casualties, but the most horrific details of the actual methods used to vanquish their perceived enemies.

... and the most dire of all fates tends to pale in comparison with the immediate dangers -- that most dire threat of all would be the now-impending destruction of the planet due to man's effect upon the living environment, and the destructive denial by a few of the most powerful among us who fail to see any way to profit from planetary protection.  Until they can decide among themselves just who can lay claim to the Sun, itself, we may have to stand by helpless against their all-consuming greed.
How does one mere mortal attempt to balance all that without losing any sense of control over even one's own destiny?

This is a time when I'm so aware that there is but one Life, and that we're all sharing it. 


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