Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Decisions While Standing at a Crossroad...

Welp, it's an important time in history to be a human being (some may say). From the range of views pumping out of pop culture/the mass media, I hear one side claiming that this generation (OUR generation) is staring global problems AND global solutions in the face like no people group to come before us. On the other side, I sometimes hear voices saying that to agree with this notion that we are a "generation standing at a crossroad" is incredibly self-absorbed, and that to fill our heads with these shallow, bandwagon-joining ideas of "saving the world" is little more than idyllic fantasy. I think I see where each side is coming from, but I definitely tend to side much more with the former than the latter.

Never before in history has so much wealth existed on this earth... so much mass production of goods... so much excess. Never before has digital information touched every country on the globe... tools of empowerment becoming so readily available. Technology continues to plow forward with innovation, systematically uncovering information and solutions to long-standing problems. And yet the problems are of unprecedented proportions as well: never before has humanity seen so much material disparity between haves and have-nots, such massive and multiplying populations, such uncontrollable pandemics, such irreparable damage to our environment, etc.

These circumstances demand intervention on a grand scale, and human intervention can always be simplified to one origin: individual decisions to act. If we sympathize with the dying poor in the developing world, yet our sympathy ends at sentimentality... the poor still needlessly die. If we are concerned about the increasing pollution in our cities and with the mounting data that points to human-caused climate change, yet our frustration isn't powerful enough to change our very lifestyle which is contributing to the problems... then how can we characterize certain decisions we make as anything other than selfish or lazy?

These are realizations that I've been rolling around in recent months, and I think they apply to so many aspects of our daily lives. The challenge is finding the proper balance of learning, realizing, taking action, and being realistic.

Along these lines, there's a "green" movement gaining momentum in our country and among pursuers of Jesus who are trying to build God's Kingdom on this earth. Tara and I are trying to learn more about what we can do to reduce our impact and embark on some new lifestyle adventures along the way. We've got a looooong way to go, but the path certainly looks intriguing. Tara's really been guiding us in new directions at home, and I've recently had some exciting ideas come along in this realm as well, but this post is now far too long... so I'll save the idea-sharing for another post:-)

*Photo Credit - "Marc:" on Flickr

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