What a world we inhabit. As I write this, I am truly concerned about the mental health of our planet.
I was listening today to a report on NPR about a community of Hasidic Jews living in fear, in Williamsburg, NY. Hasidic Jews originally moved to this area because it was welcoming and safe. Now, in this age of Nationalism and White Power, they are being harassed, threatened, and killed.
Just last week, a man walked into a Texas church, began shooting and was taken down with a single head-shot by one of the parishioners.
Right here in the relatively small Southern town in which I live, young men are shooting and killing each other in a manner reminiscent of Chicago or LA.
And just last night, the CIA and Pentagon carried out an intentional drone strike against the number two figure in Iran, a move certainly to make the world less, rather than more, safe.
These are all events of the last few days.
The thing is, I don't consider myself paranoid or fearful. I don't think I'm alarmist. I'm not advocating for government-administered change or evangelical revival. I fully support the right to bear arms, but I wonder if our national gun culture has gotten out of control. It's not law-abiding citizens I worry about, it's nut jobs, punks, gangsters, and Nazis that concern me. More gun laws won't fix crazy, because the folks doing all this shooting could care less about the law. And I don't really believe we can live in a world without some military, but it seems the Department of Defense has for some time been more concerned with offense. What really concerns me is not politics and laws, but the collective insanity that has seemingly taken over our world.
This is the beginning of a new decade. For the most part, I truly believe the last decade was in many ways fabulous. And I believe the future has unlimited potential. But I am concerned about the world-wide fascination with violence. I find it unsettling that one can't walk through a department store without the feeling of being on patrol. Now that applies to school, concerts, and church for God's sake. I am not a Social justice Warrior--far from it. But I am concerned about the world we live in and I admit it is sometimes hard to find the optimism needed to see through the haze. But that is what I intend to do: be faithful and promote peace in my own way.
I have more to ponder on the current situation of the world. I wonder why bigots don't have anything better to do. I can't help but wonder what first century followers of Jesus would have done had they been in the recent Texas Church situation. I don't understand the world these young men live in who are always armed, and take such a nonchalant view of life. And I no longer wonder if, but when, our idiotic foreign policy will backfire in such a manner as to equal all the hell we have unleashed across the globe in the last 100 years. God save us when it does.
In the meantime, I believe we can empower ourselves and be conduits of change by example. We can live in alternative community, right here among the insanity. Not brick and mortar communities of separation, but communities of ideas, ideals, and living examples of peace and harmony even if said community only exists in the recesses of our minds, exemplified through our actions. In short, we don't have to join the insanity.