Optimism is all around us. Everything on the surface is telling us that good change is coming. We know that our communities need repair. We understand that this will require hard work, dedication, and perseverance. We can feel that the opportunity is here now.
With the public meetings, new politicians coming into office, and taxpayer money flowing into economies in every region, it would be easy to assume that the actions we are taken will bring the results we look for. On the surface, the actions we are taking are the ones we need to take! We are few alternatives. If we do have options, the voices of those bringing them to our attention are being silenced by our fears.
I listen to the voices of optimism and wonder if I am seeing the whole picture. Am I looking below the surface? Can I see beyond the immediate? Are my fears driving me to see what others want me to see and not the truth?
An old king found himself caught in the trap I imagine for myself. “On the day set for their meeting, Herod, robed in pomposity, took his place on the throne and regaled them with a lot of hot air. The people played their part to the hilt and shouted flatteries: ‘The voice of God! The voice of God!’” (Acts 12.22) Herod accepted their words and reveled in the excitement of the day. He thought everything had turned the right corner and the future was now assured. Time would reveal an imaginable story that was lurking just below the surface.
I am not sure that I fully understand what is going on around me. Knowing how to read things, good or bad, is problematic. I know that whatever is happening that it does not need to change the principles that shape my response. Compassion is the answer for whatever happens. Mercy is part of any response. Honesty and fairness trump the potential for short-term gains. My head knows this. Today is an opportunity for my heart to experience the ideals in action.