The media and general common sense tells us that all sorts of crap is going around in the world. There are wars, mass sickness, extremists of all kinds that instill fear into our hearts. The economy has taken a turn for the worse, uncontrolled consumerism is quickly depleting the world’s resources, and reckless pollution is rapidly changing the climate to the point that the earth may not ever be the same again. We fear for the future and all the bad things are going to happen to us. We could get sick, or go broke and lose our homes, we might die! Relax. These things are not something to be obsessed about. Because I believe that, in the end, everything will be okay.
This is not to say that the things going on should be ignored, not by at any means. But it should not be the main cause to be convinced that everything will end horribly. Everything ends, the good and the bad. Whatever woes are afflicting a person will end. The realization that things will end tends to put things in perspective. The ending of life, death, is one that forces people to set their priorities straight. There is a Buddhist teaching that says, “Those who quarrel do not realize that we all must die. Those who realize this find very little to quarrel about.” For an individual once they realize that they have an expiration date, they will make efforts to improve themselves. Oftentimes they reform and become a much better person. They lose interest in their material desires and petty conflicts and take care to focus on what truly is important to them. At that end, everything becomes okay.
In societies and communities people make an effort to create a better environment for the future. Despite what people do to each other, they are capable of good as well as evil. That simple fact that we are capable of doing the right thing brings hope that we will. Since it’s our responsibility to make sure that we can create a better world, we will work hard to do so. Because we work hard to keep what is good and to make things better, perfection is possible. History shows us that society changes in order to allow fairness to exist in all aspects of a culture. The Civil Rights movement is a fine example of our perseverance to try to reach perfection in society. Utopia is possible.
But even if we don’t make it that far, if things do turn out for the worse for the human race, it’s still okay. Even if we’re gone, the Earth, the home of countless of living organisms will continue to survive without us. Whatever damage we may have dealt the world will be healed and it will be as if it never happened. We’re not that big a problem. It has suffered worse things than us. And at that very probable end, everything will be okay.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.