The Past, What We Long For, The Present What We Have Now, and The Future What We Can Change.
As I type this I secretly wish I was writing on a thick piece of paper. Hearing the metal tip of an ink pen scrape across the fibers. I’d be concerned about my penmanship, careful with my grammar and take caution with my words. I don’t feel the same way typing on this keyboard. Something visceral is most definitely missing from the equation. But, what is it that is missing?
I recently finished watching a Netflix series; Call The Midwife. The story takes place in the east end of London throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s. Midwives that work alongside nuns at Nonnatus House deliver babies, heal the sick and care for those in their mostly poverty-stricken community. I cry every time a baby is born, I cry when a character passes on, and I cry when I feel a deep pit of longing in my stomach for a piece of that past world.
In every episode, there is a common theme, hope. However characters are never left to hope alone, there is a community there to hope along with you. People in the community are all treated with fairness and manners. The show has explored many other different issues as well such as abortion, death, LGBTQ care, relationships, fear, alcoholism, gender inequality, racial inequality, and a general responsibility to the human spirit that resides in us all.
All of the sudden I found myself watching the show in a therapeutic way. I think to see issues, even those that presented extreme challenges, watching them handled with delicate care was healing to watch. I thought about my own life and reflected on the way I face challenges today. I have most definitely grown more aggressive and protective in myself in recent years. I do not feel a sense of safety out in the world and, I know there are others who feel the same way I do. Much of this feeling may be my own fault, exacerbated by the amount of time I spend on a computer of the phone, however, some of it is not.
A lot of the times we look at the past with ferocious disgust. Maybe it is because the scars we bear from fighting to defend ourselves for so long are still sore. But there was good in the past too. Good people, who took care in what they did or said. Hands that touched to comfort and words that were spoken to calm. Are we ready to give those up? Can we not reform ourselves in a way that can bring back the good ghosts of the past while letting the bad lie dormant?
The present, what we have now is ours to change. But no one can do it alone. We hear the word community but do not act upon its silent call. We’re too busy, plain and simple. This isn’t our fault. Being the guinea pigs of instant and constant communication was the hand we were dealt. But it is time to put restrictions on ourselves. We are not powerless to our present days, we should not only learn our neighbors' names in times of tragedy.
At times I wake up and feel I am living in the midst of an invisible war, and I can’t take it anymore. We have the promise of the future, the hope of tomorrow and another day. I will learn my neighbor’s names, I will get to know and understand the people around me and listen to their stories. Without a sense of a community, I fear we all will doom ourselves to an old biblical fate. The tower of Babel, where all speak a different language that no one can understand. I will use the good of the past to enhance my present, and create a better future for tomorrow. Will you?