By Paul Myers
–Piece originally published in the Gibsons Farm Collective newsletter–
Lately I have been wondering again what it will all come to. Politics has finally morphed into pure entertainment, but alas, less of the Disney variety and more of the Rocky Horror kind. Xenophobia is on the rise again. Africa disintegrates with Bokom Haram and a hundred other militia-terrorist armies. The Philippines. Thailand. Afghanistan. Palestine. Columbia. The UN currently lists more than five dozen countries where there is armed conflict. That’s a lot of fear, and a lot of loathing. There are pandemics and pestilences aplenty. Food is becoming scarcer as our soils erode and our oceans become giant trash bins. With the trees falling and the engines of humans burning, the carbon is getting ahead of us, and the world is getting hotter. These ‘big picture’ realities, they are difficult to grasp, much less to do something about. I wonder, why do wars seem to remain a legitimate option for resolving differences? Why do those who have the most still want more? Why do we not – even out of self-interest - care better for our planetary home, the only home we have? My questions do not have easy answers. Sometimes I want to hide from it all. But then I know that my community is the whole community, the whole world. I am also something of a longer for deliverance, if you will; the mystic-hoper who believes that to send our aid near and far, our concern, our prayers, our conversation, our unspoken, formidable hopefulness, is not futile.
Circumspection is always advised. For the bleak side of life is but one side of life. One of our GFC food buyers has gifted her purchase to a family in need. A single kindness such as this – no fanfare, no heroism – has more weight than a cannon. In time, and when kindnesses such as these multiply one upon another, the cannon itself will finally be rendered futile. Do you share this belief with me? that every small goodness we do is a world-altering event?
This is our human story, of course. Two steps forward and one back. To go forward without any expectation of regression along the way is not being realistic. Thankfully, the guardians of evolution and increased human knowledge prevent us from freefalling completely; that step back is but one step. Step by step we go, and along that journey we will witness the slow death of war, the demise of prejudice, and the end of want. Dying is not serene, but it is certain. The people outwilling the unwilling, loving their neighbour, and respecting the planet will make certain that with time, and with loving choices, we will overcome. I am remembering this today: Two steps forward, but only one back.
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