A few months ago, Chad was thinking about writing a story that would take place in the future. He started thinking about what the world would be like in 100 years, and whether it would be better or worse than it is now. He started randomly asking people if they thought the world had gotten better or worse over time.
The answers were interesting and, at times, incredibly contrary to each other based on the answerer’s worldview. I don’t know how I could even answer that question. My favorite answer came from someone who coworks with Chad: “No man, I don’t do those kinds of dichotomies.” A very West Philly answer. It leaves room for paradox and tension and reality. Things are of course better in some ways and worse in others.
I have a bunch of blog post ideas, but I can’t bear to write a floofy round up or something. Not with what’s going on in the world. It’s been a difficult several weeks to wrap your head around, and I don’t feel that I have anything wise enough to contribute to the cacophony that more eloquent people haven’t said already. Right now, my privileged, first-world, upper middle class, white heart is incredibly heavy.
Mike Brown. Ferguson. Gaza. ISIS. Christian children being beheaded in Iraq. Ebola. Friends who’ve suddenly lost loved ones. Injustice upon injustice. They need to be acknowledged.
Anne Lamott is one of my favorite writers. And though she is oft-quoted, I still think this is appropriate:
Our preacher Veronica said recently that this is life’s nature: that lives and hearts get broken – those of people we love, those of people we’ll never meet. She said the world sometimes feels like the waiting room of the emergency ward and that we who are more or less OK for now need to take the tenderest possible care of the more wounded people in the waiting room, until the healer comes. You sit with people, she said, and you bring them juice and graham crackers.
This world feels like the emergency ward. I don’t know if it is getting better. I hope it is.