Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Other Side of End Times

My colleague James came back from two weeks in China and wasn’t allowed to come back to school because our admin was worried about the corona-virus (he has no symptoms). I’m about to go to Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong and have been casual about it, but apparently things are shutting down in Hong Kong and it remains to be seen whether my workshops will be cancelled. My daughter in Portland told me a heartbreaking story about a first grader in her daughter’s school getting swept out to the ocean by a freak wave that came on to the path she and her family were walking on. Our President decides to kill an Iranian general and bring us to the brink of a most disastrous war. 

Meanwhile, the same-old same-old and the worse than the same-old same-old keeps going on. Just when we need more intelligence, kindness and imagination, we are pumping up more stupidity, cruelty and falling back on old ways to solve problems that never really worked before and will never ever work now. I went to the movies to see a film of hope and redemption, “Just Mercy,” but the new “buy your tickets in advance” found us arriving to it sold-out. So we settled for “The Gentlemen” and sat through 30 minutes of relentless guns, violence, explosions showing the next lovely 8 movies coming soon. (And then more in “The Gentlemen”—NOT recommended!). Can we have some kind of gun control in movies so we don’t keep normalizing power at the end of gun barrel as just the way things are? 

Meanwhile, the Senate is openly (this is new!) and shamelessly trying to keep their power game going by having a “trial” with no evidence or witnesses allowed. The good ole boys are hanging on by their neckless necks to bend, twist, mutilate, ignore, spin anything that approaches truth to keep their game going by their own self-serving rules and keeping out the brave, new women we need to balance the power scales. 

The world is getting just a trifle scarier and FOX News keeps pumping out the fear in the wrong places, finding a “them” to blame it on (and yes, I’m blaming FOX News, but I can back it up with actual facts about what they’re purposefully doing rather than on the basis of race, class, nationality, religion, gender, etc.). 

People on all sides of issues probably agree on one thing. The world is indeed getting scarier. The question is how we meet fear. If we arm ourselves with assault weapons, mindless ideologies, the heavy armor of hatred, we make the world yet more fearful. If we move towards a fierce resolve to face truth head-on, with the intelligence, imagination and kindness we have failed to cultivate and nurture, then the End Times can begin to feel like the Beginning Times. The end of the mindset that has wreaked havoc on the world and the beginning of nourishing the brave new heart and mind capable of loving this world, defending its beauty, protecting its worthy legacies. 

May it be so. 

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