Sunday, July 13, 2008

When the World Goes Mad

This is from the Fall of 2001 but still worth remembering

When the world goes totally mad—as it has lately—I find a peacefulness in the quiet woods. Between issues, I have spent a good amount of time putting wood in for the winter ahead, hiking along Michigan two-tracks under the brilliant shading of autumn's palette and savoring the blink of Indian summer that is so short but so memorable.Instead of dwelling on the sadness and pain of the events of September 11 I have concentrated more on the heroism and self-sacrifice that took place that day. There are thousands of deeds buried in the rubble, whose stories will never be told. But the details are not as important as understanding and appreciating the courage of the human spirit that we know shone brightly that day.It is important that we realize, the world is full of a wonderful, diversified mixture of people and cultures. We are all very different and yet we are basically the same. The world is populated with good people, yet it seems the cruel get most of the publicity. Now, more than ever, we need to focus our attention on those who shine with the spirit of human compassion. We should live by the example, and with the courage, of one missing New York firefighter whose brother said, "If it happened all over again, my brother would run right back into that building and right back up those stairs." The reason the ongoing experiment of democracy has been successful has much less to do with the rules than with the players.

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