Letter: Up in flames

Published: 4/19/2019 12:01:27 AM
Modified: 4/19/2019 12:01:16 AM

The burning of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was an event with deep resonance around the world. It symbolized the deconstruction of values that have withstood centuries of abuse and neglect. It was a reminder that nothing lasts forever without proper nurturing and love.

The fate of Notre Dame is analogous to the degradation we see in every human institution. Great structures and systems are built, destroyed and rebuilt constantly. We see this in governments, religions, large corporations and individual lives. Even Mother Earth is threatened by the actions and inaction of its human inhabitants.

Joni Mitchell wrote that “we paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” Our culture has hardened, and rugged individualism has overwhelmed concern for the common good. We vilify those who differ from ourselves, building walls and destroying bridges that unite the world family. We have weaponized technologies such as the internet to attack others while inflating our own egos. We create false dichotomies, such as capitalism vs. socialism, nativism vs. globalism, conservatism vs. liberalism, to obscure the holistic view that we are an interconnected people whose reliance on one another is vital for our collective survival.



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