Tuesday, December 27, 2011

At Year's End

Looking at politics, both at home and abroad, it is all too easy to become totally negative. Where ever we look, we see the power-hungry, the greedy ones mouth empty pieties while oppressing those weaker than themselves. Everywhere we see cruelty, committed without hesitation, in the name of religious faith and the teachings of sacred Scriptures, or in the name of freedom and equality.

While all this is true, the last year has given us reasons for hope. While corporate leaders and government strongmen (and women) have savaged ordinary people, rebellion has raised its shining head all over the Arab world, all over the United States, and Europe, and Australia. The latest news shows tent cities springing up in a number of Israeli cities.

The hypocritical platitudes of world leaders have deceived no one: the homeless, the unemployed, the working people whose money buys less and less of the promised middle-class consumption goods, the young people who can no longer afford to get an education, the old who after a life of hard work find themselves impoverished – all have seen the rapid increase of inequality. They have seen, at the same time, that no one cares for their plight. Politicians want to get reelected and that is all they care about.

But now the victims of our so-called leaders are speaking out. In North Africa and the Middle East they have been fighting back and have given their lives for greater freedom and self-determination. The Occupiers all over the world have taken upon them discomfort for the sake of speaking out clearly about injustice and political oppression. We must not only hope that these protests will continue in the new year but must do our best to support them in what ever way we can.

Look at this paragraph written by Occupiers in Worcester Massachusetts:

"At such an important point in our history, now is not the time to seek to restore normality. Now is not the time to be conservative. Do not hold back!… Don't beg for reforms. Insist on your dreams. Think big! Look around you for inspiration of how things could be. Now is the moment to ask yourself how you would like the world to be not what the would settle for. It can be totally different."

Now is not the time to think about what is "practical." We must support the Occupiers by taking their and our dreams seriously and striving for the impossible.