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Faces on Faith: What a wonderful world

By Staff | Jul 25, 2013

Fr. Christopher Senk

I find the number of people stating that they think we are living in the “worst of times” to be increasing.

Not infrequently people speak about the present as though it tops every previous generation in the BAD department. We do seem to be inundated with stories of violence, abuse, crime, and stories of extraordinary selfishness. Admittedly, the print and television media make everything more immediate and closer, so much so that even something tragically brutal taking place on the other side of the world is made available for review within the hour.

Since we are unable to make an exact comparison with previous generations, this one does appear to stand out as particularly troubling. But it is worth asking: Are we really living in the “worst” of times? Is there reason to be concerned about where we are headed as a nation? As a world?

There are always going to be people who look at the glass and see it as half empty, and not half full. Chicken Littles exist in every age, people who think that the sky is falling and everyone should run for cover. But if we, as God-fearing people, are going to be the leaven we are meant to be in society, then we must resist the temptation to see our world merely as the conduit for bad news. Indeed, we need to remind ourselves that the world in which we live was created by a loving God, and it is no less good today than it was in the days of Abraham, David, or Jesus.

Our ability to see the glass as always half full and to not succumb to the temptation of despair is just what our world needs at this moment. It cries out for a positive attitude, and our world searches for men and women who can see what is right with our world, and who can offer that world hope that in time it can get even better.

This is not a myopic Pollyanna world view, for we are compelled to acknowledge the challenges we face in our generation, and we should meet those challenges not only with a positive approach, but also with a great resolve to make the world a better place by changing our lives for the better. Michael Jackson was right when he sang “if you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and then make a change.”

There needs to be less finger pointing, fewer Chicken Littles, and more people who are willing to change the world by changing the “man in the mirror.” Next time you are tempted to think that the wonderful world in which we are privileged to live is a negative and bad place, make an effort to be positive and to change the man in the mirror.

That is how our world will increase in goodness, one person at a time.