What is it that we’ll most need in this New Year?
Might it be a new generation of our favorite electronic device? Few would probably make that argument.
Might it be the passage of a particular piece of legislation? That could get us somewhere.
Might it ultimately be more of the living that reveals our inherent goodness and that supports others in a productive way? This will certainly make a difference.
Helpful technologies and laws are part of a productive world, but there’s something most essential that facilitates it all. It had to be something deep in the hearts of the people that essentially brought about the Arab Spring – or that may be within the Occupy movement to in some way benefit everyone. Let’s call this something “love.”
Shouldn’t a more life-altering love be what’s at the top of our New Year’s wish list?
Individual and collective progress can’t really outpace people’s capacity to feel, to work for, and to express toward one another the deep value that our lives have. This author has wondered if this capacity is growing within himself.
“Am I further fulfilling what’s needed of me in our world today, or am I just trying to get by with faith in say, technology or the system in place, in that which is largely the work of others?”
I’m convinced I need to do better.
My experience with my kids is a good example. My wife and I can’t leave it to the television, the Internet, and the schools to parent our kids. Life today is such that there are too many issues on the table for me to think that things will go fine if I in any way sign-off. Love says that I stay engaged and be a kind but strong presence in my kids’ lives and in those of their friends and of all my fellow beings.
We may very well dislike what we've seen from many of our fellow beings. The political parties of our countries may dislike what they've seen from one another. Around the world though, factions have continued to stay engaged. It's encouraging that Freedom House acknowledges over eighty countries that have maintained open political competition. Yet, the bad news is that its report "Freedom in the World 2011" also tells of "the fifth consecutive year in which global freedom suffered a decline."
We've got to go further in finding something deeper than what humanity has found so far.
Author Mary Baker Eddy noted: “More love is the great need of mankind. A pure affection, concentric, forgetting self, forgiving wrongs and forestalling them, should swell the lyre of human love.”
Her use of the word “concentric,” as well as the point about “forgetting self,” speaks of how the deeper love needed is one focused on discovering our common center – the spiritual element of our lives that unites and undergirds us.
The financial saga that’s particularly playing out in Europe and the US is a good example of the significance to finding our unity – or to not finding it. Trying to break away from one another, one of us will fall and then others fall. Yet, the Holy Bible in I John encourages us: “Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.”
And what is this love that’s needed? It’s to help one another discover the good that our universal, divine creator has set us up for. Grounded in an encouraging spirit toward one another, we stay aware of the divine Spirit that enables our progress and that sustains us in the process.
This coming year, we’ll have the opportunity to find within us more of the spirit needed to get us all to a better place. Let’s keep a welcoming heart toward our neighbor, even everyone, and so, take a step towards discovering the good that God would bring about.
This is so worthwhile. It’s at least worth putting on our 2012 wish list.