Here’s a campaign we all need to be a part of, especially after the recent presidential election.
Here’s a truism that needs to be repeated until we actually understand it. It’s a truth we should use to determine greatness.
Writing that, my first thoughts turn to our current Presidential campaign. How do the two candidates measure up as good people? Polls tell us they are the two most disliked Presidential candidates in the history of our nation.
One has a lifetime of public service and has a record for consistently standing up for, and fighting for the the least of these among us. The other is a self-serving, billionaire bigot, a racist whose public lying have made global headlines and whose attacks on women, POWs, immigrants, and those with disabilities have brought a new level of shame and disgrace to the American political scene.
Neither are perfect. That’s not the issue for me. Which of these two candidates qualifies as good? Which treats others with love, dignity and respect? The answer seems fairly clear to me.
This is a critical understanding for the world in which we find ourselves. Our society is sinking ever lower into a culture of anger, bitterness, hate-speech, disrespect, fear-mongering and deceit.
We may not be able to control the actions of those around us, But, we can always choose how we respond. We always have a choice.
Basic morality, basic decency, and mutual respect should be the norms that provide the framework for our society. I, for one, choose to live by those norms.
I am saddened to see those that speak and act in an intentionally divisive manner, purposely working to weaken and even break our bonds of community. But, I have a choice. And I choose to live and act in the knowledge that all of us are one global family.
I choose to live in love. What about you?
On Maundy Thursday Pope Francis washed and kissed the feet of a dozen refugees as a part of Holy Week observances. Those whose feet he washed were not all Muslim, but also included a Coptic Christian and a Hindu.
This is another powerful demonstration of faithfulness to our Lord’s teachings as well as true servant leadership. Real leadership is not about bluster and self promotion. It’s about humility and serving others.
If those of us who call ourselves followers of Christ would ever understand this we would live in such a way that we might live as one family and have a honest chance for peace on earth.
The night before He allowed Himself to be crucified Jesus gave His followers a commandment that we should love one another even as he has first loved us. If Christians would be obedient to this command there would be no question about our goodness.
One-third to one-half of humanity are said to go to bed hungry every night. In the Old Stone Age the fraction must have been much smaller. This is the era of hunger unprecedented. Now, in the time of the greatest technical power, is starvation an institution. Reverse another venerable formula: the amount of hunger increases relatively and absolutely with the evolution of culture.
― Marshall Sahlins, Stone Age Economics,
The number of hungry people is actually decreasing. It’s now far less than half and much closer to a third. That’s good news.
But, looking beyond the numbers, what Sahlins is saying is still right, Hunger has become an institution. Allowing 25,000 or so of our human family to suffer and die daily from hunger is the status quo.
What kind of a perverted set of values allows individuals to starve in a world of plenty. That’s a warped evolution; more properly, a de-evolution.
Working together we can end the scourge of hunger forever. No one has to die from lack of food. All we have to do is to live up to the moral values we claim. If we don’t, the legacy we leave our children and grandchildren will be uglier then than it is now, a valueless society of self-absorbed greed.