Living in the earthquake zone
The United States has elected as President a man who said that he would ban all Muslims from the country; build a wall to keep out Mexicans; and has been accused of assault by several women. His rival in the election campaign was not untainted by controversy herself. Russia is increasing her military involvement in the Middle East, and isn’t averse to the occasional annexation of territory. Closer to home, the United Kingdom has voted in a referendum that could set in train the break-up of the UK. These are worrying times for many who believe that ‘democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others’, as Churchill reportedly said.
Whatever your own political persuasion, at times like this, you have to ask: what is our true source of security? When the landscape is being reshaped by seismic forces and people are calling wrong ‘right’, are we just victims of forces beyond our control; should we just try and ‘stay safe’ and let unfold around us scenarios that could lead to a new Cold war or worse; or can we play a part in making things better – if not for ourselves, at least for succeeding generations?
Initiatives of Change stands for the idea that people – anyone – can change. And, more than that, any of us can be catalysts who can be used to enable others to find change. The starting point is the recognition that human intelligence is not enough. We need to tap into a source of wisdom greater than our own – and we need to start the process of change within ourselves. Call time on the bitterness, prejudice and selfishness to which we are all prone; and seek in silence the ‘still small voice of calm’ that can give us the unexpected next steps. Work with others.
Whether you love or hate Trump or Clinton, Farage or Corbyn or May, Merkel or Sturgeon – believe that there is always the possibility of change; and live in a way that encourages and challenges those around you and those to whom you feel led to reach out.
My feeling is that things may get a lot worse before they start to get better. But the alternative approach is always available: gentle, undemanding but infinitely loving. It is a call to live in the perspective of eternity; to recognise the cosmic battle between ‘good’ and ‘evil’; and to align yourself with the side that will, at least in Christian belief, ultimately triumph.
And, incidentally, it is the most satisfying way to live.
Ken Noble is company secretary of Initiatives of Change in the UK. He was brought up in Manchester and gained a BSc in physics at Imperial College, London. Ken has worked with IofC in several countries and has served as editor of various IofC publications in London including 16 years as an editor of For a Change magazine.
NOTE: Individuals of many cultures, nationalities, religions, and beliefs are actively involved with Initiatives of Change. These commentaries represent the views of the writer and not necessarily those of Initiatives of Change as a whole.