Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I wrote my weekly Pastor's Word on the above topic. Here's what I wrote:
"For the past several months the cries of, “We are the 99%!” have echoed from Zuccotti Park to Berkeley. The Occupy Wall Street movement has made us more aware of the inequalities that exist in our society and has expressed justifiable anger over them.
"While this division between the 99% and the 1% is a dramatic illustration of income inequality, there is danger in demonizing everyone in the 1% as arrogant and uncaring. There are several members of the 1% who support one or more of the goals of OWS including President Obama, former President Bill Clinton and billionaire Warren Buffett.
"It occurs to me that the 99% and 1% need each other. The 1% need to hear the challenge to work for a more equal society, including accepting higher taxes. The 99%need the financial and political power of the 1% to change society. When the 99% and the 1% work together for a more just society synergy is the result. That’s why 99%+1%=110%."
A further comment... There is also danger in demonizing the OWS movement as a bunch of disorganized flower children who are stirring up class warfare. As I said above, the 99% and the 1% are interdependent. Each needs the other to accomplish any real or lasting change. I believe that most of us want a society where the values of compassion, justice and equality are embodied. We want equal opportunity for our children, especially our daughters and wives, and equal justice as well.
We need to get past labels and divisions to work together on common goals and changes. I may be an idealist, but I believe such cooperation is possible.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
The beginning of a new year often puts me in a reflective frame of mind. I look back over the year just past and think about opportunities seized (and missed), new relationships started (and ended), and successes (and failures).
I also think about the upcoming year and its prospects. What do I hope to do (and refrain from doing)? What goals will I reach (or fall short of)? What changes will happen to me and what changes will I make (or fail to make)?
One certain truth when it comes to the future is this: there are no guarantees. Health, success, prosperity aren't guaranteed. Neither is life.
We live and act as if we know for certain that we will be alive to enjoy tomorrow, next month or next year. Yet, we don't know, and can't know, what the future holds.
Accepting that we are always moving into an uncertain future isn't easy. It means giving up the illusion that we can control what happens to us and to those we love.
Yet, once we accept this truth, we are free to live and love more fully. As long as we labor under the delusion that we can control the future, we will be continually frustrated and even unhappy. Accepting the uncertainty inherent in life is to recognize that life is a gift with no guarantees.