Into the Dark … or … Into the Light?

Ah, the state of the world. I don’t know about you, but I ‘m frustrated, frightened, and concerned.  Some of the forces afoot on the planet would turn back progress and enlightenment, turn back civilization and civility itself, return the people to ignorance and servitude. Is their goal a return to the Dark Ages?

Acts of cruel and unusual punishment are being waved as banners of honor. Terrorism is flaunted as a prideful group achievement. What’s next? The rack, the guillotine, burning at the stake? The Inquisition? Ethnic and religious differences fan into flames of intolerance. Didn’t WWII teach us any lessons?

The world community can’t turn its collective back on attacks on values held by societies who are able to live side by side in peace. Those who haven’t had or don’t understand freedom of speech, press, religion, or education for all or who continue to keep alive historical wrongs lean toward extremism … rather than permit an elected government or a freer society.

How can we preserve a way of life without embracing baser actions? How does change come about, leading not into the Dark Ages, but into Progress and Co-existence? Three concepts come to mind.

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One is tolerance. A hijab or gold cross or yarmulke should be able to be worn with impunity. And if a person chooses not to embrace a religious belief, they should have that right. People need to feel valued, whatever their religion or ethnicity. Tolerance develops in peace … just because it’s hard for people to pursue higher values during times of war.

The second is separation of church and state. An elected government, which gives the people a voice, and a system of civil and criminal laws, which protect people’s rights, benefit the community as a whole. Religious and spiritual leaders nurture the soul, and influence moral and ethical behavior. This separation protects the beliefs of divergent religions and those of non-believers, and assures a more just system for all.

That being said, countries in the world with different types of government do coexist with democracies. The key here is they coexist in peace, with trade, treaties,  tourism, and cultural exchange.

Third is the need for pluralism, not exclusivity. If you associate only with your own “kind,” your mind may become closed to anything new or different. Suspicion and distrust can show their colors quickly. Civil behavior and mutual respect among nations and individuals are needed to enable trust to grow.

We have a heritage and set of values fought for and earned several hundred years ago, namely representative government and the freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, which we have to protect, which means we have to be real. To protect ourselves includes using diplomacy, negotiation, trade agreements, treaties, international intelligence exchange, cyberspace, adherence to law, creative problem solving, and, when necessary, overt or covert actions. And, in doing so, not lose our values or sell out to baser behavior. And, in doing so, honor those who protect us.

Extremism, radicalism, violence, and hyper-emotionalism don’t help build society up, but rather gnaw at the heels of a civilized world. I’m banking on man’s higher sense of purpose, on his ability to coexist with differences and celebrate likenesses. And this teaching and modeling starts with the young.

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Thank you for stopping by and allowing me to share my thoughts, my unease, my heartache, my hope.

Let me hear from you.

 

 

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About cmwriter

I'm a writer ... of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I blog about writing, short stories, poetry, books, plays, and thoughts on life. Love reading and travel and being with friends!
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6 Responses to Into the Dark … or … Into the Light?

  1. Beautifully written Carol. Thank you for shining light on a dark time in our history.

    • cmwriter says:

      It is a serious time in history. I hope humanity can right itself. As of the moment, some are veering onto an unsettling course. Thank you for stopping by.

  2. This summer I went through rage, despair and sadness over the ISIS beheadings, Ferguson and every other human craziness. Then one day I came across a quote by Joseph Campbell. The essence was “if you think you can fix the world, you’re barking up the wrong tree. The world is perfect. It’s a mess. It’s always been a mess. Go ahead if you want to but be prepared tha tit probably won’t work. You’r better off working on yourself.”
    The key for me were the words ” it’s always been a mess.” And I was reminded for as long as there have been humans on this beautiful planet, there has been separation from each other-us against them thinking, greed, exploitation, killing, slavery and so forth. We have come a long way and have more to go. Don’t give up your passion for wanting humanity to be humane-to be compassionate instead of judging and cruel,- just remember there is a lot of love that is not in the news, there are people living peacefully together and supporting each other. You and I might not see a perfect world in our lifetime but we have come a long ways. Hang on to the hope.

    • cmwriter says:

      The world is messy. And with instant media coverage, we get to see all of its messiness and quickly. Hopefully, this nudging of instant awareness will help humans to continue to work on themselves collectively as a group while we also work on ourselves individually. I’m pulling for us to become more humane over time. And, as you point out, not forget about all the peacefulness and kindness that does exist. Thank you for you thoughts!!! And thank you for stopping by!

  3. Thanks for your wise words. Sometimes I feel I am the only one out there.

    • cmwriter says:

      Your last sentence reminds me that “No man is an island,” even though it may feel like it at times …. I like that we can support each other in the blogosphere, share our thoughts and our joys and our concerns. Thanks for reading mine.

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