Our pens hover

Will you lead?

Must history repeat itself?
Or, is it within our grasp to write a different ending?

Humans have a responsibility to find themselves where they are, in their own proper time and place, in the history to which they belong and to which they must inevitably contribute either their response or their evasions, either truth and act, or mere slogan and gesture. ~Thomas Merton

Yesterday’s crash, deaths, and media coverage sent me back to Who Do We Choose To Be? by Margaret J. Wheatley.

The Arrow Of Time, the book’s opening chapter, lays clear six consistent ages of societal rise and decline studied by Sir John Glubb—13 empires spanning the globe from 859 BCE to 1950.

Stages One through Five:

  1. The Age of Pioneers

  2. The Age of Conquest

  3. The Age of Commerce

  4. The Age of Affluence

  5. The Age of Intellect

Stage Six is The Age of Decadence:

Wealth and power have led to petty and negative behaviors, including narcissism, consumerism, materialism, nihilism, fanaticism, and high levels of frivolity. A celebrity culture worships athletes, actors, and singers. The masses are distracted by entertainment and sporting events, abandon moral restraint, shirk duties, and insist on entitlements. The leaders believe they are impervious and will govern forever. This age also develops the welfare state as imperial leaders generously build universities and hospitals, support the young and the poor, and extend citizenship to everyone. When they run out of money, all this benevolence disappears and these institutions shut their doors.

While despair might permeate the greater part of the nation, others achieved a new realization of the fact that only readiness for self-sacrifice could enable a community to survive. Some of the greatest saints in history lived in times of national decadence, raising the banner of duty and service against the flood of depravity and despair.
~Sir John Glubb

Can you see yourself in the mirror of society?
Will you respond?
Or, evade?
The pen is in our hands…

If you have not already, will you read Who Do We Choose To Be by Margaret J. Wheatly?

And, so as not to end sounding all desperate and gloomy, I share one of my favorite bits of writing from E.B. White—a letter to a concerned citizen.

The pen is in our hands…