Knowing facts doesn’t always make a difference. How many people involved in broken relationships knew the facts before the choice? 100%. What percentage of the population understands the fundamental cause and effect of their actions? An overwhelming majority. In the fundamental building blocks for community how many of them are within our control? Virtually every one. We know, I know, but it doesn’t seem to make a difference.
It all started when we were young. So the story unfolds with a trail of horror and broken relationships. Far too often the story teller, audience, and parents involved are left with the impression that there is a direct link between parent and child, the old generation to the new and wiser to those impressionable. I have no doubt that there is some link however it may be far more tenuous than one might believe. We are products of our environment. Our environment includes parents, siblings, and friends as well as community. There is no doubt that food and other chemical/biological influencers come into play; and that we are shaped by them far more than we realize. Yet, in the final conclusion, none of these “things” ultimately determines our future; we do.
I struggle as I confront the mother and child begging in the London train car. I wonder aloud as I stumble by the individual wrapped in cardboard on the edges of the tube station. People are starving, struggling to live, and even dying on our streets and there is little that we can do to prevent it. The despair isn’t new, “remember, dear friends, that the apostles of our Master, Jesus Christ, told us this would happen.” (Jude 1.17) Each generation, mine included, think the world has now gone beyond its ability to recover.
Yet people with this knowledge haven’t changed the world.
It might not change the world but it will make a difference in mine today! Today I choose compassion and mercy over justice, acceptance over intolerance, and love instead of hate. This is my choice and I am going to live it out.