All Those Meanwhiles

March 26, 2019- 

For a good part of my time with my little family, in Korea, I was drawn away from anything to do with the wider world.  It felt only natural to narrow my focus, with only a relatively brief microburst of heavy rain, upon our return to Busan from Jeju, on March 15, to let the potential of havoc remind me that there was indeed “life’s mud and stone”, in the words of the great Kenny Rogers, of which to be ever mindful.

Nothing was more jarring than the shootings in Christchurch, something for which I ached, for days afterward, upon reading a digest of news in a copy of The Korea Herald.  Spiritual truth is one, continuous flow, throughout history and will remain so.  The wanton slaughter of 120 people in northern Nigeria, yet another episode in the back-and-forth atrocities between Christians and Muslims in that country and the ongoing bloodbath in Mali, orchestrated by the Islamic State and pitting the Peuhl people against IS’s Dogon opponents, have stayed on the back burner of the world’s awareness.  This is the wrong approach. At the very least, what happens in Africa, especially in the west and north of the continent, will spread to Europe, eventually, just as conflicts in the west of Asia are feared to do.  More essentially, the deaths of hundreds-anywhere- is a humanitarian crisis, worthy of the full attention of the wider world.

We seem to at least be paying closer attention to the horrific cyclone-caused damage and casualties in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.  Americans can identify with such events, especially when simultaneous horrors are ravaging the North American Great Plains and riparian areas of the Midwest.  Nature is in a highly-charged state right now.  Whether it is cyclical or the result of intense man-made climatic disruptions, unified responses are necessary.

Then, there were the more personal individual tragedies:  A young lady who had survived last year’s Parkland, FL shootings was overcome by her emotional pain, and took her life.  A week later, the esteemed economist, Paul Krueger, overcome by suffering of his own, followed suit.  Closer to home, two teen girls in our area and a Phoenix police officer were killed by inattentive drivers.

I learned my lesson, that even during the most basic and intensely personal of life events, there is no separation from all that surrounds us.  Meanwhile, family thrives, near neighbours may struggle-and those who live in areas, where life’s larger problems seem intractable, continue to warrant our love and efforts to help, where possible.

The “meanwhiles” never take a vacation.

9 thoughts on “All Those Meanwhiles

  1. Although the meanwhiles never rest, it seems to me there are times when it’s important to step back and let them remain meanwhiles, while paying attention to those at hand. You’ve had a great time with family, and have come home with many good memories and photos — now it’s time to review the meanwhiles and help where possible, or to go forward with those events that are current and keep them from becoming meanwhiles!.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is my end conclusion, after pondering the events that swirled around our happy little family. The bottom line is always “Be fair to yourself and others.” I have scheduled some helping time with a service organization, for the first two weeks in June, only to be asked “What about the last week of May? You’re off then, too.” My offer stands: The first two weeks of June.

      Like

  2. Here are some other meanwhiles
    1. Youth crime in the Australian state of New South Wales has plummeted
    in the last 20 years. Vehicle theft is down by 59%, property theft by
    59%, and drunk-driving by 49%.

    2. In the last generation, arrests of Californian teenagers have fallen by
    80%, murder arrests by 85%, gun killings by 75%, imprisonments by
    88%, teen births by 75%, school dropouts by half, and college
    enrollments are up by 45%.

    3. According to new data from the Department of Justice, the proportion
    of people being sent to prison in the United States has fallen to its lowest
    level in 20 years.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for the eye opening read. Tomorrow is not promised or assured, yesterday is gone … today is a gift [which is why its called the present] we need to take each moment and appreciate it as an opportunity to make change and to be the change we want in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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