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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Who can save us all

The world has known darkness and light but it has also known the grey. It is the eternal fog, which is neither right nor wrong. This is the place that seems safe. Neither light nor dark penetrate it easily. But it is also the place where every evil act and every good act can be perpetrated in secrecy.

It is the place of indecision, the place of deception, the home of those who would live only by halves. This place, where the lost and lifeless shuffle mindlessly and the sad husks of creatures once human, wail and moan, is also the place where the purposeful lose their focus and intention.

Where is the future for any of us if we refuse to accept our responsibility for the world around us? Some would claim that responsibility means we need to save the planet from global warming or from a failing economy, or from the lack of medical care or from national identity. Some would claim the opposite – we need to save the world from those who would stand in the way of such things. Others would say we should just stop fighting, bring the troops home and live and let live. “Why,” they ask, “can’t we all just get along?”

Wouldn’t the world be a beautiful place if we could achieve all the things that everyone wanted: silence the stupid or evil, but give everyone a voice; jobs for people involved in current energy concerns while eliminating use of fossil fuels and the embracing of alternative energy. Wouldn’t it be great if we could shut down nuclear power plants, but at the same time, keep the unlimited energy they provide. It would be wonderful to have sanctuaries for polar bears, but at the same time prevent the bloom in the bear population so that we don’t end up as snacks for bears. Couldn’t we celebrate if we could defend the population, but keep inviolate their rights and if we could teach our young safely and efficiently without turning our schools into prisons or political training grounds?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a world where we could sleep peacefully and wake to perform great and honest and pure deeds? Wouldn’t it be great if every individual could understand the motivations and meanings of others and come to agreement free of strife and free of judgment? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to live in a world where all our leaders were sage and fair and concerned, honest and consistent? Wouldn’t it be great to trust them?

But there is always the grey. Inside it we fight, inside it, we experience brief moments of clarity when the sun shines bright, and other times when the grey gives way to the deepest, most perfect horror and grief.

But it is choices, which deepen the fog, drop us into the darker pits, or raise us above it all. Who knows the way? Who can make the choices, which will save us or condemn us? Do we turn to Presidents or priests? Do we seek God in the mist? How many sunrises and sunsets need to pass, in which we allow others to decide what is clarity and what is not? How much longer should we give power to those who seek to harm us and steal from us, even our most precious things – our children and their children and their futures?

Because, I know a secret - I know the person who can save us. That person is neither dead or prophetic nor especially popular. You won’t find them in religious texts or carved into monuments or the walls of ancient undiscovered ruins. They are not wealthy or powerful or pillars of anything. They are, however, brilliant, strong, compassionate, brave and honest and their wisdom can outshine the greatest philosopher. They are the only one who can save us all and they unfortunately can only see that truth in brief flickers. They actually don’t even really know they have the answer.

That person – the one who can save us all - is you.

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