Yesterday was the first sunday of advent.
The darkest days of the year, but a time of expectation nevertheless. This is my 69th advent : I was born in the first days of advent 1940. From all I heard about it, it was a time of intense happiness for my parents and grandparents in a time of grievous misery and death for the world. People hoped and prayed for the end of the second world war (which had been raging for just over a year) and for a happier life.
When I compare the world of my very first memories with today's world, the changes are unbelievably profound and drastic. If I were a writer, I could write book upon book on this subject.
But I want to keep it simple : in the material sphere, we lived in a desert, and now we are in paradise ; at least a significant part of the world population is. The majority still lives under condtions which are worse, or barely better, than ours 70 years ago.
But spiritually and morally I have seen nothing but decay, fed by continuing wars, by ever present greed, and by the development of telecommunications and mass transports. Never in the history of man have changes for good or for worse spread so fast. But apparently the forces of evil have spread so much faster than the forces of good.
All over the world humans have the same objective. We all want to live a happy life in peace and in relative wealth ; but the means to do so remain scandalously concentrated in the hands of the super rich in our regions, and in our hands as compared to the third and fourth worlds.
Advent, expectation and hope.
In the last couple of months a crisis has developed, the like of which the world has not known since the 1930s. The world never again will be the same as before, but hopefully, something will change in attitudes and structures.
If this crisis can lead to a more equitable, and yes a more moral world, let it last as long as it takes to do so. The result will be worth waiting for. But that is far from a given. When people are threatened in what they possess, aggressiveness can, and often has, grown into terrible warfare.
Let's hope we have become just a little bit smarter. If not, the future looks very bleak indeed.