‘What’s wrong with the world today’

(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)

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As the story goes, The [London] Times once sent out an inquiry to famous authors asking the question “What’s wrong with the world today?” to which author G.K. Chesterton replied:

“Dear Sir,

I am.

Yours, G.K. Chesterton.”

Although there is no proof of this since no letter has been found, The American Chesterton Society comments, “This story has been repeated so often about Chesterton that we suspect it is true.”

Regardless of its authenticity, the sentiment is right on, and pretty much captures the most humble, simple answer to a complicated question and complicated world. I also think it captures, in essence, the right attitude by which we attack social problems that appear insurmountable and firmly rooted in systems that will not change overnight. The only thing you can do is accept responsibility for any and every way you have ever said something, done something or failed to do something about a certain problem, and begin the process of change by changing yourself.

Take racism, for instance. None of us is going to be able to stop racism, but we can take responsibility for any way we have contributed to it, whether by sins of commission or omission, and we can dedicate ourselves to changing our attitudes and living in an open and dignified way, giving honor to all races, all religions (and none) and all ethnic groups — in other words, all human beings made in the image of God. Judgment stops here; and change starts here.

This isn’t to say we stop the process of identifying and eradicating the causes of the many systemic problems facing our society and nation — to be sure, this is a large part of the purpose of education (research) and government — but it is a way of stopping personal finger-pointing and prideful aloofness. Any problem we are trying to address must begin with an admission of our own contribution to it. We are all guilty of sin; we have all done something to contribute to the mess the world is in, even if this means only that we have done nothing to change it.

What’s wrong with the world today? To the extent that we are, we can do something about that.

This entry was posted in Justice, racism and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to ‘What’s wrong with the world today’

  1. Sandie says:

    Reminds me of an old Pogo comic comment. “I have seen the enemy, and it is us.”

  2. John A Fagliano says:

    As someone once said when you point a finger at someone you’re pointing 3 at yourself. Now if you look for what’s right with the world at point a finger at it…

  3. Mark D Seguin says:

    Wow!!!! Pastor John you hit the nail on the head! As the saying goes with Today’s Catch I truly believe! B/C I know how much I wanted to blame the other guy! Yet as the other saying goes when I’m pointing a finger at someone else there are 4 fingers pointing back to me…

  4. Toni Petrella says:

    You really hit the bullseye today and none of us can deny being guilty of finger pointing. that old saying of what is wrong with the world well, I guess as someone also might say maybe look in the mirror first and then try to do better

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