It’s Up to Us – Part IV

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It is a world, our world, in the midst of transformation.

The institutions that have been developing for over a century are busy now, attending to the cracks in their own structures. 

Financial systems are facing moments of unsteadiness enough to make the average breadwinner unsteady as well. 

Churches, our own right here in the middle of a progressive history, are being shuttered or merged. Attendance at Mass, once a Catholic given, has dropped.

Educational data tells us that American students no longer top the academic charts or can expect their great discoveries will now go on leading other parts of the world where education has become everything to everybody else, too.

There is no “as usual” time now. Because, without doubt, our strength, our unity and, maybe if we’re lucky, the grit of our diversity depend on meeting these differences and, hard as it may seem, taking responsibility together and making them work.

The point? That old world when we sat on our porches at night and watched kids kick balls down the dark street has melted away somehow. Instead, life is just one upheaval after another for all of us. It isn’t that life has become wholesale bad; it’s just that it’s become uncontrollable while we wait for somebody else to take a role in the changes that must be made.

Extremists, of course, are trying to restore the old ways where they found security. But yesterday’s uncertainties and fears have never resurrected the past. Banning children’s books, flouting white nationalism, and swaggering down city streets with guns on our hips — so we can become part of the violence we say we’re out to avoid — can only divide the country that should be one. 

There is so much else to be done to make the future a tonic rather than a threat. So much more psychologically healthy, socially bonded, politically mature and spiritually developed leadership to enable us to see with the eyes of those around us and allow ourselves to learn how to carry the rest to fullness of life.

By Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B

There will be a conclusion to this article tomorrow.

Thanks to Simon Waititu for the photo.

What are YOUR thoughts about what Sr. Joan is saying? Do YOU think that life has become uncontrollable while YOU wait for somebody else to come along and make the needed changes?


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