Saturday, January 19, 2013

Is this the best we can hope for?

Is there hope?, Jewish Quarter, Jerusalem, Israel, November 2012, Nikon D600 with FX 28-300mm VR lens, 
72mm, 1/800 sec @ f5, ISO 100, -0.3 EV, no flash © Steven Crisp  [Click on the photo to enlarge]

Jerusalem is a wonderful international city.  With a Jewish Quarter, a Christian Quarter, an Arab Quarter, and an Armenian Quarter.  It's fabulous to experience all of those cultures in such close proximity, and to realize it's been like that for hundreds of years.

But then you see the barricades, the metal detectors, the armed soldiers and the barbed wire. And it just makes me wonder:  Is this the best we can hope for?  Is this the best we can do?

Clearly, we are an afflicted species, and conflict has been in our history since we left the tree canopies and began to walk upright.   But at the same time, I see in my mind's eye the potential for civility, for compassion, for understanding, and for tolerance.

Thankfully, we have examples of luminaries that embody these principles and other timeless wisdom.  The Buddha, Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, and countless others.  We do have examples to emulate and to learn from.

I do believe the best is yet to come.  As a species we've come a long, long way.  We sometimes lose sight of our progress (and the daily news doesn't help).  So seek out those stories and lessons that give you the motivation to follow the trails blazed by the saints and sages.  May you be able to help light the path of love for those around you.

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