Saturday, June 25, 2016

An Exit from Reality

My thoughts and prayers this morning are focused on those in the United Kingdom who have chosen to “go back” (to wherever) and for the European Union member states who will now have to decide whether to “move forward” or “go back” (to wherever).  I also think of those in the UK who wanted to “move forward,” who voted to “remain” a part of the Union in spite of all the difficulties, risks, and unknowns involved in it.  How will they manage as a minority (in terms of vote) going back (to wherever)?  What about the young people in the UK who voted overwhelmingly to remain in the Union? There are many reasons for this great divide between those who want to go forward and those who want to go back (to wherever) in many nations today, including our own.  

After the world markets went berserk yesterday we should all know, without doubt, the truth expressed in John Donne’s poem, “No Man Is An Island.”  We are a global village and we cannot go back to some other time and ignore this fact.  (Unless, of course, you are Donald Trump, who can now attract many to his new golf course in Scotland because the “pound” has crashed).  Anti-globalism spurred Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage in the UK to seek “independence”.  Theirs was a “scream of defiance” against reality.  That is what “going back” is all about—it is an attempt to  defy history, “which is moving in the direction of a multicultural, multiglobal identity for the entire human race on a beleaguered planet.”  There is no way to escape this reality in spite of the UK’s vote to “exit” reality!  

Lake Powell, Page AZ
After World War I, the United States rejected the League of Nations with a “scream of defiance” and tried to step back from the rest of the world and reality.  Within a few years we were again engaged in a World War because we thought we could live without paying attention to and being part of the whole world. We, along with the UK, are in danger of doing that again.  

Ants are born with wings and know the wonder and the rapture of flight, but then they tear them off deliberately and live their whole lives as crawling insects on a limited piece of ground.  We are born with wings, too, wings to carry us to new heights of understanding, into new realms of human community, new vistas of peace and goodwill—but here we are deliberately tearing off our wings, going backward, defying our very nature and crawling on our own little island, attempting to divorce ourselves from that which we are called to be and to do.

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