Thursday, November 15, 2007

The feeding of despair

or Why Thanksgiving couldn't come soon enough.

I have often noted convergences in my life. These aren't mystical events. They have more to do with one's own consciousness, one's own awareness of the world around. But, for me, they serve the function of validating me on a particular course.

I heard a news report the other day, about a bird native to South America being discovered (2000 miles away) in the very town where [Interdisciplinary Post of Interest] is. Convergence. That's what I mean. Years ago, when my mother bought an AMC Pacer, I had never heard of them before. But suddenly, after she brought it home, I saw them everywhere. Convergence.

Of course, convergences can be neutral in their impact, or even negative. When I'm feeling particularly down or grouchy, then what I hear and see is interpreted through the fog of this lens.

I hear a news report on NPR about South Carolina voters' reactions to Mitt Romney's faith, and my heart races with the absurdities they spout. "It's not a Biblical-based, Judeo-Christian religion. It's a cult." "In addition to the Bible, they believe in another book." Do these people simply not hear themselves? Are they so unaware of the irony of one true believer assaulting the faith of another because, gasp, they believe in something different? It breaks my heart. More importantly, it scares me.

I hear about the happenings in Pakistan, and I shudder. I shudder to read news stories that refer without qualifications to Musharraf as "President" or to his hand-picked, anointed Attorney General or his allegiance-swearing Supreme Court, as if they have any moral authority or legitimacy. I hear about the current crackdowns in Iran on such ungodly things as makeup, and unapproved films. And the continuing conditions in Darfur and Iraq. These are convergences to me that the world has gone insane.

And yet, so far, these things do not touch my daily life. I'm still free to fret over the treatment of adjuncts at U.S. universities (knowing full well that this treatment would be a godsend to most of the world's population). But then, I've never thought it makes much sense to justify impropriety by comparing it to even worse improprieties. The world ought to be a better place.

Tikkun Olam. We have work to do.

1 comment:

Lilian said...

Yes, my friend, the world is going insane. And it's tough to live in it. Particularly to those of us who have families and young ones.