Peering into a New Decade, I Find the Old Truths are Still True

peaceYou would think that after nearly 76 years on earth I would have some wisdom to impart, something enlightening to share. But all I can dredge up are the usual clichés. Not quite don’t-run-with-scissors banal but certainly nothing fresh and original. It might be fitting to sum up my decades of experience with the cliché: too soon old and too late smart. But I’m not sure about being “smart.”

The thing about wisdom is that it tends to be so ordinary. You don’t have to be a genius to realize that violence begets violence, that the best way to get rid of an enemy is to make him your friend, that moderation in all things is the way to health and happiness, and so on.

The Book of Proverbs is full of wisdom. So are many other holy books venerated by the world’s great religions. And the Gospels provide all the guideposts we could possibly need. Yet look around. Nobody seems to be paying attention to these admonitions. World leaders routinely ignore – and pervert – the timeless teachings of the great religious books and pander to the basest instincts of humanity.

world peaceInstead of providing a prescription for peace and progress, religion is often abused to justify unthinkable oppression and cruelty.

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, none of the world’s underlying problems have been solved. Who would have thought that in 2010 we would still be blowing up each other, that we would still believe in “winning” wars?

What is it in human nature that so obstinately refuses to accept the evidence of the ages? I listen to Dick Cheney, the former American vice president, and I am flabbergasted that the media bother to pass on his ravings. How can such a discredited barbarian enjoy so much credibility?

I read that Fox News has had its best ratings year ever, and I am dumbfounded. Who listens to such insanity? Have they learned nothing from the bloodshed and misery “conservatives” have visited on the earth for centuries?

You would think that by now humans would have learned that the only way to ensure happiness is to share it, that it is more blessed to give than to receive, that peace brings prosperity and war brings devastation, that cooperation is more productive than competition …

Back in the Sixties we asked where the flowers – and the young men – had gone, and we wondered: When will they ever learn?

I am still wondering.