Reflections about ‘our times’ on a global and personal level

If we become too scared to confront the chief problems of our time, there is no hope of ever solving them.— Jim DeMint

I have an increasing sense that the most important crisis of our time is spiritual and that we need places where people can grow stronger in the spirit and be able to integrate the emotional struggles in their spiritual journeys. — Henri Nouwen It’s hard to tell what people realize. Everybody’s different and has a different understanding of the difference in times.— Mia Wasikowska

An amazing thing, the human brain. Capable of understanding incredibly complex and intricate concepts. Yet at times unable to recognize the obvious and simple. —Jay Abraham

We are living through a period of global disorder. People around the world are experiencing tremendous suffering, uncertainty, and disruption to their lives. Reality is being unveiled— systems of evil and injustice are being seen in greater clarity, and our collective “normal” has been radically upended. Walking through this chaos and despair can be difficult; but, ultimately, it is when everything seems adrift that the spiritual journey becomes both an anchor and a sail. God uses tragedy, suffering, pain—and even death to guide us into greater Love. — Richard Rohr

Leaders of the world, my message to you is simple: to achieve universal peace and understanding on this planet you have only to speak plainly, even though you may look foolish. This is a thousand times better than looking good and talking nonsense. — David Small

Historians and archaeologists will one day discover that the ads of our time are the richest and most faithful reflections that any society ever made of its entire range of activities. — Marshall McLuhan

Seeing outward is equivalent to looking backward in time because the telescope’s mirror is capturing primeval light… galaxies that existed before our time. — Richard Preston

SONGS about OUR TIMES:

PRAYER by Fr Richard Rohr (link: https://cac.org/daily-meditations/2021-daily-meditations/)

Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.

THE PARADOX OF OUR TIMES
— attributed to religious leaders and comedians,
author remains unidentified

The paradox of our time in history is that
we have taller buildings but shorter tempers;
wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less;
we buy more but enjoy less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families,
more conveniences, but less time;
we have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgement;
more experts, yet more problems,
more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much,
spend too recklessly, laugh too little,
drive too fast, get too angry,
stay up too late, get up too tired,
read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.
We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life,
we’ve added years to life not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have
trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.
We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information to
produce more copies than ever, but we communicate
less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion;
big men and small character;
steep profits and shallow relationships.

These are the days of two incomes but more divorce,
fancier houses but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers,
throw-away morality, one-night stands,
overweight bodies, and pills that do everything
from cheer to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and
nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology
can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose
either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Blessing When the World Is Ending — Jan Richardson

Look, the world
is always ending
somewhere.

Somewhere
the sun has come
crashing down.

Somewhere
it has gone
completely dark.

Somewhere
it has ended
with the gun,
the knife,
the fist.

Somewhere
it has ended
with the slammed door,
the shattered hope.

Somewhere
it has ended
with the utter quiet
that follows the news
from the phone,
the television,
the hospital room.

Somewhere
it has ended
with a tenderness
that will break
your heart.

But, listen,
this blessing means
to be anything
but morose.
It has not come
to cause despair.

It is simply here
because there is nothing
a blessing
is better suited for
than an ending,
nothing that cries out more
for a blessing
than when a world
is falling apart.

This blessing
will not fix you,
will not mend you,
will not give you
false comfort;
it will not talk to you
about one door opening
when another one closes.

It will simply
sit itself beside you
among the shards
and gently turn your face
toward the direction
from which the light
will come,
gathering itself
about you
as the world begins
again.

COMMENTARY on UNDERSTANDING OUR TIMES
on a COMMUNAL, SOCIETAL SCALE

Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways. — Dalai Lama

There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in. ― Desmond Tutu

In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. —George Orwell

Everyone is going through tough times. The irony in it is that everyone thinks what they’re going through is harder than what you are. Life isn’t about surviving these things, it’s about understanding this- We are all struggling. — Jose N. Harris

One of the most pervasive political visions of our time is the vision of liberals as compassionate and conservatives as less caring. — Thomas Sowell

Raising awareness on the most pressing environmental issues of our time is more important than ever. — Leonardo DiCaprio

The topic of compassion is not at all religious business; it is important to know it is human business, it is a question of human survival. — Dalai Lama

The blockchain is the financial challenge of our time. It is going to change the way that our financial world operates. — Blythe Masters

The ecological problem of our times demands a radical reevaluation of how we see the entire world; it demands a different interpretation of matter and the world, a new attitude of humankind toward nature, and a new understanding of how we acquire and make use of our material goods.-— Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I Of Constantinople

The most tragic paradox of our time is to be found in the failure of nation-states to recognize the imperatives of internationalism. — Earl Warren

We must wake up to the insane reality of our time. We are all irresponsible, unless we demand from the responsible decision makers that modern armaments must no longer be made available to people whose former battle axes and swords our ancestors condemned. — Thor Heyerdahl

How terrifically dynamic is our time! We can mobilize all the spiritual, all the moral, all the political strength of Africa and Asia on the side of peace. Yes, we! We, the people of Asia and Africa! — Sukarno

I feel that the great challenge of our time is the communication of ideas. — Alain de Botton

The right of every American to first-class citizenship is the most important issue of our time.— Jackie Robinson

We have to cross the boundary between knowing and not knowing many times before we achieve understanding.—David Hawkins

‘Get along, go along’ is not an inspirational philosophy, and only God knows how much moral cowardice it has covered up over the years. Serve your time, collect your chits, and cash ’em in for your home state? No, I’d say we could ask for more than that from our senators.—Molly Ivins

The non-violent resistor not only avoids external, physical violence, but he avoids internal violence of spirit. He not only refuses to shoot his opponent, but he refuses to hate him. And he stands with understanding, goodwill at all times. – Author: Martin Luther King Jr.

We, of our time, have played our part in the perseverance, and we have pledged ourselves to the dead generations who have preserved intact for us this glorious heritage, that we, too, will strive to be faithful to the end, and pass on this tradition unblemished. — Eamon de Valera

Understanding the times means understanding the course of history and civilization, as well as understanding the present situation. If we understand how God guides the development of human history, we can begin to understand the therapies needed to correct the problems of our times. —James B. Jordan

The Indians used to be the only inhabitants of the Americas, but times change. Having perceived us as belonging to history, they are free to emote over us, to re-create us in their history-based understanding, and dismiss our present lives as archaic and irrelevant to the times. —Paula Gunn Allen

A recognized fact which goes back to the earliest times is that every living organism is not the sum of a multitude of unitary processes, but is, by virtue of interrelationships and of higher and lower levels of control, an unbroken unity. When research, in the efforts of bringing understanding, as a rule examines isolated processes and studies them, these must of necessity be removed from their context. In general, viewed biologically, this experimental separation involves a sacrifice. In fact, quantitative findings of any material and energy changes preserve their full context only through their being seen and understood as parts of a natural order. — Walter Rudolf Hes

If there existed no external means for dimming their consciences, one-half of the men would at once shoot themselves, because to live contrary to one’s reason is a most intolerable state, and all men of our time are in such a state.— Leo Tolstoy

Let us be sure that those who come after will say of us in our time, that in our time we did everything that could be done..—Ronald Reagan

Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism. — Barry Goldwater

PERSONAL REALIZATION about OUR INDIVIDUAL TIME

We have not the time to take our time. —Eugene Ionesco

Our time here is magic! It’s the only space you have to realize whatever it is that is beautiful, whatever is true, whatever is great, whatever is potential, whatever is rare, whatever is unique, in. It’s the only space.— Ben Okri

A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed. ― Desmond Tutu

With the understanding that you will face tough times and amazing experiences, you must also commit to the adventure. Just have faith in the skills and the knowledge you’ve been blessed with and go.— Michael Dell

All art is exorcism. I paint dreams and visions too; the dreams and visions of my time. Painting is the effort to produce order; order in yourself. There is much chaos in me, much chaos in our time. — Otto Dix

But when we feel we are not understood, there is a sense in which we are homeless. And so we must always provide a home of understanding. There will inevitably be times when we do not understand someone’s behavior or a certain response, but we can understand the person.— Mary Francis

Every day, think as you wake up: Today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. — Dalai Lama

Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others.— Joseph B. Wirthlin

I’m thinking of how unexpected and yet oddly preordained life can be. Events are upon you in an instant, unforseen and without warning, and often times marked with disappointment and tragedy, but equally often leading to a better understanding of the bittersweet truth of life. — Rob Lowe

Our time is so specialised that we have people who know more and more or less and less. — Alvar Aalto

It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

When I think of my work, I’m aware that I’m American and African at all points and times. And without a doubt, my experience and understanding of America was shaped by having immigrant parents. — Dinaw Mengestu

We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile. —Earl Nightingale

Nearly every moment of every day, we have the opportunity to give something to someone else – our time, our love, our resources. —S. Truett Cathy

Death is important for a couple reasons. The first is that death creates scarcity in our life, which therefore gives our decisions meaning and value. From a practical point of view, it therefore makes sense that we keep our own deaths in mind when deciding how to use our time. —  Mark Manson

Anything that is wasted effort represents wasted time. The best management of our time thus becomes linked inseparably with the best utilization of our efforts. — Ted EngstromReflections about ‘our times’ on a global and personal level

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