Sunday, June 11, 2017

Joan Chittister: Make America, America Again

I have the highest respect for Joan Chittister and those
who devote their lives toward a higher good for all.
May we each be inspired by their example.
Peace & blessings - Molly

"At one time, the purpose of American government was seen to be a commitment to the common good, nobody excluded. Then, it became a commitment to party principles, all other principles in doubt." (Photo: Unsplash/Dogan Gulcan)

There's a pall hanging over the country these days. And it's everywhere.
It colors every news article, of course.

But, it's not only the news that's been tainted by the non-majority election of a president and the appointment of an "alt-right" cabinet. It's on the comedy shows, too — an even more serious blow to the national psyche. Without comedy that has something more to laugh at than simply ridicule what is, where can the soul go to breathe again?

Worse, the depression infects our spiritual DNA, as well: What is truth anymore? What is fact now? When is the "news" really news? How can we determine the true from the false, the real from the fake, an authentic report from an adulterated facsimile? What happens to a democracy that cannot trust the integrity of its leaders, the objectivity of its media?

We walk through the world now looking over our shoulders, waiting for the next headline, the next investigation, the next breach of protocol on the slippery slope between democratic government and irresponsible governance.

So, should we just give in and let this runaway world run its course?

These are questions we never had to ask before. In today's political climate, they underlie the depression of the society.

But Victor E. Frankl in his classic, Man's Search for Meaning, reminds us, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

It may be time to look at our own attitudes to discover what we ourselves are doing to cement this kind of social chaos and what we might need to do to reverse it.

Four attitudes, in particular, I think, chart the American journey away from the ideals of the founders and the common good to our present flirtation with pathological individualism.

Our attitudes toward politics, toward politicians, toward the purpose of government and toward moral memory as a dimension of political life will determine our common future.

No comments: