Life in perspective

Daily life requires us to view it from a position of flexibility. Life takes into consideration a wider stance, another person’s viewpoint, if, life is to have greater enjoyment, peace and contentment. What we think, how we think it, as we relate in our agreements and disagreements, impacts the example we set for our children and in personal and community life worldwide.

Consider the recent social concern of joblessness in the United States. The unemployment rate is about 8 percent. This is unacceptable. We all agree. In the 20 nation European Union, the unemployment rate is about 11 percent of the population. In Greece, unemployment is at 30 percent (The Nation). In many “developing nations,” joblessness exceeds 50 percent. Imagine! Just imagine!

If we observe “our” current unemployment picture from the perspective of how life is, in the wider, global economy, we are motivated to embrace the thought there is not one nation or one person who can be held responsible for the cause and effect of what has transpired in recent years. Neither can one person or one country be held solely accountable for the success or failure of fragile recoveries. Consider the financial strain folks have had to grapple with in Greece and Spain during the 2012-2013 calendar years. Eventually, global events abroad will trickle across the great oceanic divides, effecting us all, like it or not.

We must address the “root causes” of what is happening worldwide. Most dilemmas center on the lack of sound ethical practices in workplaces and poor moral disciplines amongst all people everywhere, rather than on one person’s convictions or one nation’s decisions. We must look beyond the legality of our convictions, and more at the ethics and morality of our decision making which guides them. If the delicate recovery process is to be sustained, then all must take responsibility in contributing to the larger resolution. Truthfully, we are in this together, as life is a global village where diversity of race, color, religion, lifestyles and cultural traditions are to be celebrated beyond personal wants, desires and opinions of entitlement. What occurs in our towns or on the street we live on has a ripple effect. If we pull together in the same direction then truly we “tug” of war between nations; mindsets of “what’s in it for me” or “what I have achieved and earned is for me alone, and only I will determine how it is to be shared” will be in decline. This is good.

If we rise above the current level of blaming which permeates society and its infrastructures, and, instead work together for good, then we can resolve personal conflicts, political hostilities, angry opinions, ceasing the popular practice of finger pointing, acknowledging the world is a village, and all have important roles in living out the Divine purpose: You and I are here to help each other overcome enormous obstacles, and this can only be achieved when we “keep life in perspective,” and understand we are in it together.

Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Shellhamer