|Photo by J. Cridland|
The world is full of stories. A lot of them are tragic. Many leave us feeling frustrated with the injustice in our world. Some of us avoid the news for these very reasons. This morning I picked up the LA Times and the headlines were mostly depressing:
- A-Rod and several other baseball players are suspended for drug use. This kind of sports story is getting old. Deny, deny, and then finally admit and still the guilty have no sense of shame. Who was it a couple of months ago? Lance Armstrong.
- The Southwest, especially New Mexico and Nevada, have experienced 3 years of extreme drought. Ecosystems may never recover, water supplies are so low that states are fighting over rights. The grasslands are dying off, jeopardizing the livelihoods of those who depend on them for grazing cattle. And you say you don't believe in climate change?
- And forget about all the political nonsense that is going on this country--our totally useless and corrupt Congress, the attempt to diminish voter rights, women's rights, and on and on.
- And finally all the worldwide stories of greed, war, murder, and abuse.
A week ago, I asked my 5-year old grandson what he was going to be when he grows up. He hems and haws, but we all know that he wants to be just like his father, a fire fighter. He has had his own turnout gear and clothes since he was a toddler that he changes into on a daily basis. But then his 2-year older sister chimes in. "I'm going to help people." She is naturally very responsive to the world around her. She dutifully tucks all her dollies into bed, she helps her mother with household chores, and she is eager to help put all her nursery school playmates down for their naps and give them a motherly pat on the back. "I'm going to help people." She smiles up at her mother, a nurse. Then she looks at me with a glint of excitement in her eyes. "You too, Grandma? You want to help people?"
I think that's what it is to be truly human--to care about others and the world we live in. Each one of us has a role to play in making the world a better place. There is a seemingly never-ending battle in this world between good and evil, and those who would be good cannot give up. They can't give up on all those who have fallen by the wayside because of poverty, misfortune, or their own bad decisions. They can't walk away from the battle and those who are determined to destroy all that is good in this world.
No matter how disturbing the news, the world is still blessed with a band of persistent, caring warriors. And as long as there are children who have an understanding that they have a place and a responsibility in this world, there is hope for the future, a positive direction for the world.