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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Faith in the Future of Our World


I believe the world is getting better. And I’m pretty sure that I am alone in this belief. What can I say? I am either naive or a visionary. I have a lot of hope for the future, despite the continued problems we see on the news every night. Call me what you will but in the face of continuing suffering throughout the world I think things are getting better.

I have come up with this crazy opinion of the future because of my interpretation of the past. Warfare and depredation is nothing new for the world. Many of my friends point to fighting in Palestine as proof of the end drawing near. But no place inhabited by humans has been free of violence, ever. Fighting in the Holy Land is as old as the rocks. But I have seen a trend in the world that I do consider something new. Large groups of people banding together to help strangers.

Individual acts of kindness have, I suspect, been common since people have existed. But large groups organized into charities as seen in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are a recent happening on the historical timeline. The last hundred and fifty years have seen people reaching out to complete strangers in unprecedented numbers. The Red Cross is just one example of many organizations that have been created in recent years. Coming out of the 1864 Geneva Conference, the movement has spread to 137 countries in the 1980’s and had a membership of 250 million people. Each country has its own society which gives people the opportunity to help out within their own borders. If you have an expanded world view you can support the International Red Cross. They are the ones who help people in crisis around the world. At no other time in history can I find organizations that give a common person the opportunity to help a complete stranger located halfway around the world. And every year more organizations similar to this one are created. How can anyone not feel good about this development? This is truly a step in the right direction.

War is standard operating procedure for humans; world-wide philanthropy is not. And so I have seen this increasing desire on the part of many people as a sign that humanity is growing ethically and morally. I look at the world and I see things getting better. As I said earlier, not many people will agree with me, but I don’t care. The way I see things, the future of our world is brightening.

God Bless You,

Pastor Bill Whitehead

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