If you read the papers and watch TV, you might be inclined to think we’re going to hell in a handbasket. Or maybe just a plastic grocery bag, like the ones that have gathered in a floating island of garbage in the Pacific Ocean.
The problem with that assumption is that the news doesn’t really report what’s going on. They report what’s going wrong and who’s to blame. That’s because it sells papers – although even that’s becoming debatable. There is a large portion of the population that lives in a fear-driven ego, an ego that must find blame. Makes others wrong to make itself right. And that’s much easier to do if you’d don’t know any of the players. You can blame away, without guilt.
The effect of this style of ‘news’ is to caricature events into a morass of pain and suffering. This is not to say that suffering is not there, but were are the stories of joy? How often does peace make the front page?
This came to mind today in a short piece I ran into. The “War on Terror” is over. The reporter did not note this. But he observed that the American government had ceased using the term and was dismantling many of the abuses made in the name of the war of fear. No replacement name. No new policy. Just a change of attention. A move away from fear.
This is the way of peace. When the light comes up, the darkness fades. No drama. Just a quiet shift in awareness. Perhaps a sigh of relief.
I know it’s far from peace in the world yet. But peace is coming to people all over the world. In astonishing ways. No headlines. No stats on how many in your city woke up today. But it’s coming, like a growing Tsunami.
The funniest part is, peace changes who you are. Quietly it arrives, and quietly we forget what it was like without it. Like trying to remember how you saw the world when you were 11 – it can’t be done because you are no longer that. It is only perceived from where you are now. And that’s the only thing that’s real.