Mariner’s wife has a desktop Zen calendar. Most of the time mariner struggles to grasp the point of the quote but today it couldn’t be clearer or more apropos to these times:
“The dignity of man lies in his ability to face reality in all its meaninglessness.”
We must find our dignity within ourselves – in the world today the reader won’t find it anywhere else. There is no news outlet broadcasting good times. Even marginal advances in humanism and technology are fraught with negatives and controversy. There is the Putin war, the totalitarian legislatures, the republican autocracy, the uncontrolled metaverse, the age of misinformation, global warming, pandemics, housing shortages, inflation, skyrocketing medical expense, China, North Korea, societal disintegration, the age of mass murders, the destructive influence of venture capital, uncontrolled private equity, growing plutocracy, Christian-based Trumpism, abusive tax structures that protect the wealthy, ignorance about the disappearing biosphere, disrespecting the very immigrants who will bolster the national population and its GDP.
Okay, mariner will stop. Oddly, it seemed almost like good news when the news outlets broadcast the passing of Madeline Albright; it wasn’t, of course, but it seemed better because it carried no angst. Bless her; she helped run a more civil nation in a different time.
Within ourselves we must find stability, sameness, a reason we exist. We must use behaviors that show responsibility for others, by doing what we can to help victims of our age.
We must separate our emotions from our thinking. Pure, educated thinking is in short supply today. We must act with vision and wisdom.
As the Zen quote implies, we must search for a world with meaning.