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Editorials

You are that you are

The transition between decades offers time for for reflection in two directions. To look back over the last ten years is to see images of falling towers and falling bombs. To see wars that still feature as we look forward to the next ten years.

We have worked hard to distract ourselves from these grisly pictures. The millions who marched against the invasion of Iraq have been replaced with new millions who vote on TV shows for people whose largest ambition is the accrual of fame. Meanwhile we have been re-electing, with less fanfare, the same politicians who maintained that the wars were keeping us safe.

So we have not yet managed the old challenges, but to look forward is to see that new ones present themselves to us now. A scientific consensus suggests that we cannot continue to live as we do and avoid environmental catastrophe. Yet according to the pollsters, more than half of us do not acknowledge the threat. The lesser half looks on in despair - but this, in fact, is our biggest challenge.

Humans are folly and error and vice and hubris, but it is not all that they are. Those eager to cry war are wrath and venom and fear and hatred, but it is not all that they are. Those keen to scoff are disregard and selfishness and greed and venality, but it is not all that they are. Those who think they are better than that are distance and arrogance and disdain and sneer, but it is not all that they are.

Our challenge in the next ten years is not to see what else we could become, but to notice in each other what else we are already. God-imaged, social, alive. 'Oh,you are beautiful, my darling!  Oh, you are beautiful.' You could not stop being so if you tried. This is the word of the Lord.