I know a lot of people who are climbers, and I’ll bet you do, too. Sure, on one level I’m talking about people who climb literal mountains and indoor rock walls, but I also mean something else. Don’t we all know people who climb social ladders? Those who climb to the top of their field or academic discipline? Loved ones who climb out of the depths of debt or depression? Any time we dedicate our time and selves to completing a task that requires perseverance and sacrifice, we have “climbed” to the pinnacle of that particular endeavor. There are climbers all around us.
One thing that all climbers know is that sometimes they slip, and sometimes they fall. But the slips and falls are ultimately not the important part of the journey; the important part is what happens after a slip. If the journey is to continue, they get back up and begin again. They know that some things are outside their control, but not everything is.
This is on my mind today because of the horrific news coming from Afghanistan, and the earthquake in Haiti, amid the world’s other humanitarian and environmental crises. As a “progressive” I do sometimes fall into the naïve assumption that all things in all places are getting better at all times. One danger of that naïveté is that disasters like the ones happening now can shatter one’s entire paradigm, leading to total disillusionment, despair, and inaction.
A different way, one that I have learned and am still learning from all the climbers in my life, is to remember that if I want to see progress in the world or help for those who need it, that I must be willing to play active part in it. I can’t sit back and wait; the work won’t do itself. So, this week I hope you will join me in prayer, donation, contacting our elected leaders to work to preserve life in these countries, and however else you can. We did not have control over the earthquake, and we do not control what happens to the people and government of Afghanistan, but we do have control over how we respond.
Many Blessings to you all,
Assistant Minister for Children and Youth Faith Formation