The Burning House
~ or what are we going to do when our world turns to ashes?
Every nation divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.
In the mansion of humanity there are three floors. On the top floor live the matriarch and the patriarch of the controlling family. On the middle floor are all the children and grand-children. On the bottom floor are the servants, who come and go to the lands where livestock, wheat, and vegetables are grown.
One day a fire breaks out on the lowest floor. Those on the top floor have not concerned themselves with the state of that floor and have allowed it to become dilapidated. The walls are dry and rotting, and the means to stop the fire have become rusted with age. The servants are, nevertheless, doing their best to quell the flames.
The people on the middle floor start to smell the smoke and wonder where all the servants have gone. When a few begin to realise the mansion is on fire, they rush to the narrow staircase leading to the top storey in order to escape the flames. One or two of those make it to that floor. The patriarch then closes and locks the door, afraid that too many people on his level would endanger his safety.
Those remaining on the middle floor take several actions.
Some of a religious bent begin to pray for the well-being of themselves and their elders, but do nothing to help those fighting the fire. Those of a spiritual bent meditate to find inner peace during this emergency, trusting that ultimately all will be well, but also do nothing to help stop the fire. Some deny that the house is on fire, angrily denouncing anyone who says otherwise. Some claim that it is not their problem, and even worse, that the servants who are risking their lives deserve to burn. All too few run downstairs to take up buckets and axes, and pitch in.
On the ground floor the struggle is hard because they have received so little support. Don’t the people above understand that we all share this house, and the welfare of the lower floors is critical to the welfare of the upper floors?
Some on the lowest floor are so angry and so frightened that they fight among themselves, then run from the house to save their own individual lives, without noticing that the flames are spreading to the fields and villages.
The remaining firefighters cry, “Surely a better way of living would have prevented this tragedy! What are we going to do when our world has turned to ashes?”
In peace and kindness,