We’re a lot alike, you and I. We are made of the same stuff. Science would tell us that our DNA makes us nearly identical, chemically. But you and I could not be more unique. You and I can listen to the same song, but we might hear different music. You and I can read the same book and be moved to different emotions. You and I can witness the same story on the nightly news and come away jeering different villains.
When I survey our world my nature is to look for the positives. I want to find hope and optimism but I am having to look harder to find it these days. When I stare into our world right now, I see darkness. How does it look to you?
I see a country so divided that people are no longer willing to listen to another perspective. I see a nation of people preaching only to the choir. I see two choirs who desperately need to hear a different sermon from time but have chosen to sequester themselves in their own bias. I see little hope of real change under those conditions. How does it look to you?
When I look at “news” items being shared on social media I am now forced to sort out what’s real and what’s a sham. I trust nothing at face value anymore. When I see a viral story, for instance, that quotes the White House press secretary as saying “the U.S. is absolutely prepared for WWIII“, I want to think it can’t be real, but things are so crazy I have to check into it. When I find out that the story comes from a “hybrid news site” that blends real news with satire, I am both relieved and angered, as if things weren’t confusing enough. It looks to me like we will soon have to question which way is up and which way is down. How does it look to you?
When I look at our leadership, I grow increasingly fearful.
I see our president speak on television and it looks to me like a man who gets all of his information from soundbites on his favorite 24-hour news network, splicing them messily in the less than coherent manner of a high school freshman who’s just slapped together a last minute, badly plagiarized term paper and then has the unmitigated gall to feel proud of it. How does it look to you?
I see budget proposals that seem to set the stage for the wealthy to scavenge off the carcasses of the working class. How does it look to you?
I see the spokesman for the White House making historical comparisons about Assad and Hitler using chemical weapons that reveal either a complete lack of judgement on how to make a proper analogy or, worse, a complete lack of knowledge about history. How does it look to you?
I see an education secretary who is, at best, woefully unqualified for the job or, at worst, hand picked to put the final dagger into public education, creating an even more monumental achievement gap between the haves and the have nots. How does it look to you?
I see the president becoming more and more comfortable flexing military muscles. While his targets may indeed be deserving of the bombs, I can’t help but swallow hard as I watch the Russias and the North Koreas of the world posturing in response. How does it look to you?
I see camps forming within the ranks of religion. I see a chasm of political divide growing in the church. Christians on the right are sniping at more progressive Christians, because they support “baby killers” and gays. Christians on the left are casting judgmental eyes upon more conservative Christians claiming they are spreading hate. I see very little Christ in the process. How does it look to you?
I am searching our world for basic kindness and dignity and it feels like every day it requires more effort to find it. It looks bad to me right now.
How does it look to you?