Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Cain's Question

Despair pervades throughout. Television, the Internet, radio and print media feed us a litany of horrors each and every day. Food shortages, collapsing economies, political strife, war, disease and pestilence, the savaging of the very Earth we walk upon, the whole, sad human condition plays out before us. We become numb to the pain, indifferent to the suffering. Governmental leaders talk incessantly, casting around for blame. Religious leaders are divided between calls for prayer and patience on one hand or rants against the “System”, whatever system that might be. Hope is on the wane.

Here, at my own wit’s end, I perceive the problem. In our rush to hide or throw a patch on the ills of this ailing planet we have forgotten the most basic of questions. It is in that question and in our response to it that the salvation of our home and the family of Man lies. What is the question, you ask? It is Cain’s question to G-d.. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This is the question at the root of all Western Religion and is as applicable to every other belief system as well.

And what, then, is the answer?
It is simply this, “Yes; A most resounding 'Yes'."

We all, and I do mean “all”, literally, must stop looking to protect ourselves, our slice of the ever-diminishing pie, and start helping those around us. Jackson Browne, the singer/songwriter may have said it better than can I:

Oh people, look around you
The signs are everywhere
You've left it for somebody other than you
To be the one to care….

We cannot leave the task for others. It is a task for all of us. Of course, this is not a task we can do alone. But, neither can we wait for someone else to get the ball rolling.

The time is now.

The place is where you stand.

Look around you. You will see what needs doing.

Start locally, move on from there. There is plenty to do; plenty of need.

Get your hands dirty.


1 comment:

ravaj said...

hey, not all religious leaders are so useless! social action is a foundation of american reform judaism. works motivated by faith are a foundation of many branches of xianity. i am sure there are so many more versions of the same for religious groups beyond my ken. credit where credit is due, eh?