Paradox of Our Time
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways but narrower viewpoints. We spend more but have less. We buy more but enjoy it less. We have more but appreciate it less. We have bigger houses but smaller families. More conveniences but less time.
We earn more degrees but have less sense. More knowledge and more experts but exercise less discretion, less certainty. We have more learning and more medicine but less understanding and less wellness. We drink too much, indulge too much, spend too recklessly, laugh to little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up to late, get up to early, read too little, watch too much media and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. We talk too much, love to little and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living but often fail to make a life. We’ve added years to our existence but have failed to add existence to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back but refuse to cross the street to greet the new neighbor. We’ve explored the oceans, the poles and pioneered outer space but we have difficulty exploring our own hearts. We’ve done large things but not necessarily better things. We’ve cleaned up the air and the rivers but polluted our minds. We’ve conquered the atom but not our prejudices. We write more but mean less. We plan more but accomplish less. We’ve learned to rush but not to wait. We build more computers to run more software to hold more data and more messages but we communicate less effectively. I could go on and risk being too pessimistic, too cynical and who wants that? Who wants to be remembered for being a pessimist?
Yet these are times of fast food and slow digestion. Big portions with less nutrition. We are bigger men but of smaller character.
We want bigger profits and greater returns but we invest miserly and unwisely to seek them. We have more acquaintances but shallower relationships. These are the days of two income households but of more divorce. Fancier homes but broken homes. We enjoy quick trips, disposable products, situational morality and rushes to judgment. Our medicine is better but we take it too enthusiastically, hopefully to cure our bodies and quiet our minds. Or to make us more cheerful and distracted from what we should be focusing.
So what’s the solution? Very simply, it is love. Love of ourselves and love for others. It is the message of Jesus and it has served us well when we chose to adhere to it. Love is the only thing that really matters. Love is the only thing that transcends the material world in which we are all trapped until death releases us into the unknown.
So remember to spend time on love, at least as much time as you spend on media. I know you can do it and you know we should all do it. Spend more time with your loved ones and devote your efforts to making it meaningful. Enjoy it while you are able. Express your love both verbally and practically. Love your family and friends but don’t forget to also love your neighbors and your community. Remember to say kind things to strangers when the opportunity arises. Remember to do loving things for children and the under-privileged. Don’t just pray. Do! Be! Show! But don’t forget to dream because your dreams can come true even though they often don’t. That doesn’t stop us from playing the lottery or from hoping things will get better, does it? Remember that it is doesn’t cost anything to hug somebody who will appreciate the caring you show. Remember that life is fleeting, like the wind. And just as uncontrollable. So make the most of it and enjoy it for all its worth. Don’t be sad if things don’t always go your way because that is unrealistic. View life as a stretch of joys punctuated by pain
and not as a stretch of pain punctuated with joy. Think more about smiling but don’t hesitate to help wipe away tears just because tears are sometimes more common than joys. Remember to say “I love you” and “I care about you.” Be helpful and strive not to hurt others feelings because all of us are entitled to our feelings whether others agree with them or not.
A kiss and an embrace will always say more than a scowl and neglect. Love is hard but it is also easy. Think of ways to express love and soon you’ll be thinking about it all the time. And then you will practice it. If that is the only thing you leave on this earth it will be a great thing, a lasting thing and this will be a tribute to you forever.