The Twin Antidotes to the Chaos That Surrounds Us Are Empathy and Compassion
by Author Rev. Paul J. Bern
Mass shootings and the flurry of seemingly random violence, combined with rumors of wars between Russia, China and the US are making most of us think the entire world is going to explode into global conflict any moment. In my humble opinion, those who think so may well be correct. We are exactly at the point in history that Jesus spoke about in Matthew chapter 24, verse six when our Lord and Savior said, “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come”. Some say this means that ‘world war 3’ is inevitable just because Jesus so. After all, the word “must” is right in the middle of it.
But I would like to interject here that God also created humankind with a free will — meaning, we can change our world for the better if we do our due diligence in seeing this huge task through to its completion. It is also vitally important that we are all collectively determined enough to make our dreams come true. Where to start from, you may ask? One place could be to sharpen our instincts for empathy and compassion towards others. What has gone so terribly wrong with our country (not just the US, but globally)? Why are we becoming more aggressive, violent, self-interested and egocentric as a society?
The problem goes far deeper than just blaming the escalating rhetoric of political pundits, news anchors and talk show hosts, or of vilifying the so-called “gun culture”. Guns are part of American culture, and have been since this country’s inception. But at the end of the day, all this amounts to is fear-mongering. I agree that the world is a truly dangerous place, and so for myself, acquiring the means to defend myself is just part of life. But if anyone disagrees, please stay with me here because I promise you that I’m going somewhere with this.
It is the very nature of human beings that make us so susceptible to the rising plague of hate and mistrust, even to the point of paranoia, and of the unfocused rage and violence that is spreading across the land. The American character was forged…