- Sniper atop the tower at the University of Texas kills 12 and wounds 31.
- Riots in Watts, Cleveland and Atlanta
- Civil rights marcher James Meredith shot.
Sound familiar? Here’s the good news — while it feels as though current events are unique, each generation laments how the world it going to ruin. We remember the past through filters of our own youth. Looking back, we’re always younger, probably fitter, definitely less aware of mortality. I told Mark the other day that what I really want is to move to Santa Cruz circa 1966. He said that Santa Cruz might be doable, but 1966 wasn’t. Would I really want to return the world to 1966, with the same social problems we have now but less progress on them?
With pollution but less being done about it? People I have come to care about shoved back into their closets, or kicked off the bus? No, of course not.
The world is always what we make of it. It’s as good as we decide to be. Which means there’s hope. So I keep making peace symbols and giving my pennies to charities helping people and pets in need, and hoping.
Look at Opening Doors, a small charity helping refugees resettle in the Sacramento area. Just as we’re hearing a lot about how we should just boot anyone who comes here back, there are people helping those who have fled violence and hunger to start over in America.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ” That’s from our Declaration of Independence. We’ve spent all the time since trying to decide who is included in “all.” Does it mean dark people? Women?
Like the Biblical commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” it’s hardly ambiguous, yet we argue over the meaning. Both are ideals to strive towards, and imperfect human beings fall short of them, but they give us a goal. Like the idea of peace. We may never achieve perfect peace. We’re not even sure what it would look like if we did. But it gives us something to reach for, a destination to head toward. It gives us hope.
I hope that for today at least you are at peace.