The questions are endless. At the heart, there is a single word that each question has somewhere in it – “why”. If I were in the shoes of the person asking the question, I would be asking, likely demanding succinct answers.
I want to answer the why. I want to remind them of the warnings I have given them for the weeks and months before we began the new chapter. I would like to take them back to our first conversation six months ago. As attractive as answers to the questions are, they masked the real question on the table. “What now?”
Accusations are problematic. Across the ages, they call out for villains. Someone must be guilty. Someone or something must be at fault. It would be easy to single one or two individuals out. Yet, even as others would be “vehement in demanding his execution. I looked into it and decided that he had committed no crime.” (Acts 25.25)
There are many reasons we have gotten to where we are.
The first is time. When there was time, we struggled to make the problem now our first priority. Something always got in the way.
The second is an understanding of success. For many, success was an external measure. In the end, it was an external measure combined with internals. Without the latter, we have and will struggle.
The third is teamwork. We took a decision to operate in small groups rather than a holistic community. It was an open, intentional decision. In the end, we paid a price.
As valid as these answers are, they do not provide single points of failure. Even if we identified the key individual along the way, the process and subsequent action would merely distract us from the question at hand. What will we do now? The present demands our full attention. Whatever our response to now will shape the future. We are where we are. There are lessons to be learned and applied. It is in acting that we seize the opportunity to make our world a better place.