16 September

A Time Of Great Promise, Feeling And Hope

by Jon Katz

When we love, we always strive to be better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, then the world around us becomes better too. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

I sometimes watch the news and think that humans don’t really deserve the gift of the Earth that God gave them, we seem determined to let it go to waste. Pain and suffering challenge us and slap us upside our heads and hearts.

But then I remember. Life is a process, and we are in it.

Yesterday, I wrote about the dystopian feel of the fires and the arguments over climate change.

I have to be honest, I am not blind to the hard nature of life, but I see this as a time of great promise.

Somehow, this misery and pain needed to happen. And there will be more to come. That’s what life is. Grace comes from how we respond.

Life reminds us again and again what it means to be human, to love and care. We seem to always forget, it is a gift to be called to consciousness.

I know from my own life that I have never been more awake, more hopeful, or more determined to give meaning to my existence.

There is so much good to go, I get the chance to be the human I want to be.

I have been reborn so many times, and this is a year of rebirth, I feel it in my bones and spirit.

The pandemic has awakened us to the love and value of science and learning, and the need to listen to the people who work so hard to figure out the mysteries of life. We are called to empathy and compassion.

Knowledge is a gift, but it takes hard work. Ignorance is cheap and easy.

We once again are learning to value the sanctity of truth and compassion.

The fires and the storms have forced us to pay attention to Mother Earth. There is no more denying the message of the fires and the floods.

Denials have never rung so hollow. The fires have appeared to awaken one part of us, the floods another. Our eyes can see, our hearts can feel.

“Doomsday predictions can no longer be met with irony or disdain,” wrote Pope Francis in his encyclical, Laudato Si. “We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation, and filth. The pace of consumption, waste, and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes, such as those which even now periodically occur in different areas of the world.”

Our world is in flame and disorder, but it is also a time of great awakening. Anything can be made better.

We believe what we see, and we see that we must rush to heal our sister, the earth.

We see that our way of life and government has failed to win the hearts and trust of so many people. We see how we have failed them.

We are talking about racism in a new way.

Women are on the rise and on the move all over the country, their long-promised revolution is on our doorsteps. This year, they will change the world and begin to teach us what it means to be human, and not just rich.

It took an awful year to wake us up, but we are in a great awakening. It is everywhere, you can’t go outside the door and not see it.

We see the need for a government that can help us when we are distressed and sick or overrun by a disaster. We call for a kinder and gentler nation. We see the rich are too rich, and the poor are getting too poor.

Our hearts bleed for the refugees and the immigrants who have lost their beacon and their refuge. That will change, as it always has. Give us your tired and your poor, again. We have room, we can afford it.

We cry for the people who have lost their homes to flood and fire. We cry for the many thousands of people who have died alone. When we needed them, heroes came rushing from everywhere, as heroes do.

The young have seized on climate change, their lives are on the line, along with curbing gun violence. As they rise up to vote and determine their own destiny, these issues will be addressed.

We will no longer turn our eyes while our children are slaughtered at the school desks.

I can see it coming, I can feel it coming.

The troubling and dark age of the Angry White Man is coming to an end, this year, next, and in the years beyond.

A new survey found that the only group in America that doesn’t accept climate change are aging conservative white men, the same group that refuses to address gun violence. Too many of them work in Washington.

They are the swamp that drowns compassion.

They are shrinking and fading, even as the world around them changes by the day. We all have our time, our time has come. I am so happy to have the chance to get out of the way.

We are tired of them. Let them go.

Women on both ends of the great divide are coming to see the world in the same way. Twice as many “conservative” women believe in climate change as their husbands and partners.

Increasingly, these displaced men are losing and will continue to lose political power and influence over our lives. That is the true message of our tortured politics.

If it seems like it has taken forever, it has. It’s coming, and not a minute too soon.

That will not be easy or painless, but it is inevitable.

Like the pandemic, climate change will force us to confront our values and priorities, life will change, and we can no longer hide from the dark side of it, or deny or avoid it.

In my work with the Army of Good, I’ve seen first hand how good most people are, and how eager they are to do the right thing. That is the true spirit of America.

Out of darkness light, out of hopelessness, faith, out of pain, healing. I hear the call, loud and clear, and I give thanks for being alive in a time of such great need and love.

In this time, it is impossible not to feel, and feeling is the start of hope and faith.

Every day, we learn the beauty of empathy, the highest calling of humanity.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but it’s my time. The angels tell me so.

 

7 Comments

  1. Thank you for writing such wise words. I needed to hear them. I feel the same way you do.
    What is the Army of Good? First time hearing it.
    Stay well and safe.

  2. I feel the same home and waking of people who have hearts and we’re asleep. I am having a hard time believing this will be easy. The ignorance feigned to cover hate and dislike for the other is t just in old white men. I have hope our youth is our future but I am afraid we won’t have enough time. Those counter protestors are a sea of white men, and women and YOUNG people who have inherited a legacy of anger and hate. Because I try to work with somebody her I see that what they claim (to want to help other and care about the environment) and what they do -don antigay stickers and douse their house with roundup-are very different things. Our next generation is our hope no just hope there is something left before the point of no return. There is also the antiestablishment on the left which may tank our chance at a civil society from where we can begin to climb out. We may be a woke society but the 62 richest people still make the decisions. I am afraid and hope you are right.

    1. So many spelling errors and it won’t let me edit.

      I feel the same hope of people waking up- at least those people who have hearts and were simply asleep. I am having a hard time believing this will be easy. The ignorance feigned to cover hate and dislike for the other is not just in old white men. I have hope our youth is our future but I am afraid we won’t have enough time. Those counter protestors are a sea of white men, and women, and YOUNG people, who have inherited a legacy of anger and hate. Because I try to work with some of the people who hold hate as their go-to, I see that what they claim (to want to help others and care about the environment) and what they do (don antigay stickers and douse their house with roundup) are very different things. Our next generation is our hope, if there is something left before the point of no return. There is also the antiestablishment on the left which may tank our chance at a civil society from where we can begin to climb out. We may be a woke society but the 62 richest people still make the decisions. I am afraid but I hope you are right.

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