Recent events, from Nice to Istanbul to Baton Rouge, leave us dismayed. We have the impression that an all-powerful demon is playing roulette with humanity. However not everything is as irrational and unmanageable as it seems.
I had planned a long weekend of rest, but the recent events caused for a change in my schedule: first Nice which occurred the night between Thursday and Friday, next the failed coup in Turkey the night between Friday and Saturday, and then Sunday, an ambush in Baton Rouge where three US police officers were killed by an African American man. A reporter rarely rests, as one is paid to constantly follow events each day.
The story of your reporter is completely secondary to our current reality, which speaks to us of events such as a mysterious attack at Yerevan, Armenia, to endless tensions in Jerusalem and its surroundings, to the growing unrest in Bangladesh and neighboring Kashmir, to the lesser-known tensions Burundi, the serious situation in Central Africa, to new attacks in Mogadishu, the everlasting war in Yemen, thousands dying in South Sudan... Where will we end up? The pope had a point when speaking in Redipuglia in September 2015, saying that World War III is in the making. The situation we are in has engulfed us neck deep. On top of that politicians do not seem to help in conflict resolution. Each day we see new divides such as Brexit, the referendum in Hungary, elections in Austria, and the divisions in France after the attacks, just to name a few our Europe alone.
To think that years ago, which seem like centuries, the summer months of July and August typically arrived with such little news that reporters had to take to the hunting of neighborhood events, such as the death of a cat or the theft of an apple. That has changed as today there is far too much going on. Today’s mass media offers us instantly everything that happens in any corner of the world. In the night between Thursday and Friday we were all at the Promenade des Anglais and the following night at Istiklal Kaddesi. Direct power is brought forth by journalists or citizens that become journalists for a day.
Certainly this barrage of news can psychologically wear us out. We may have the impression that an evil plot is encompassing the entire planet and that the worst is yet to come. Through stratospheric conspiracies, we draw connections between events that are completely separated from each other which can lead to a chronic pessimism. The often misunderstood "liquid society" by Zygmunt Bauman becomes becomes a state of mind rather than a reading of events.
This article was written by a journalist who runs a magazine that according to its mission, works "in a view of universal brotherhood." Those who follow us on social networks know how many are criticizing us for this very reason. Nothing is more valid to this than the startling claim made by Chiara Lubich after the attack on the Twin Towers: "Paradoxically, the world approaches universal brotherhood."
I don’t want to defend at all costs a statement which remains entirely in the responsibility of those who have spoken, but I would just restate to myself three or four small certainties, to understand (and to reassure us). For example, today we are more interdependent than we were thirty years ago, in fact inter-independent, says Pasquale Ferrara, new Italian ambassador in Algeria. It is a fact, for as many walls as we erect, we know each other more, we know what our neighbor lives, but also the one that is distant, we have emotions for the young boy on the beach in Turkey and we mourn for the dead policemen in Louisiana. The "mine" is "more yours" and what is “yours" is "more mine" than years ago.
I also believe that we can’t deny the fact that the world has gone from a bipolar vision (before the fall of the Berlin wall) to a unipolar world (the US as "the world's policeman"), to arrive to a multipolar world, where there are five, six or seven major players: China , India , Europe, Russia, the US, but also Turkey, but also Brazil , but also Indonesia ... this is a step forward in the geopolitics and the "global democracy", even if the special interests are likely to make it appear that there is a setback.
Yet again, religion is back on the international political scene. This is not only due to the extremism of the Islamist matrix, but also for the great wave of peace coming from the Roman Popes, for the impressive movement of China's spiritual growth, and for the revaluation of so many traditional cults. Religion, also in political science literature, is moving from places of disintegration and division, if not for conflict, to places of cooperation towards peace. Building peace is not just for politicians.
Finally, the digital culture is promoting a collaboration on many different levels in extraordinary ways. Think of the researchers around the world who work together to give complex answers to the complex society in which we live. Think of the cultural heritages of the most remote places on the planet that come into circulation through the never previously known season of mass travel. Think of the impressive multiplication of concrete acts of solidarity caused by the digital revolution.
Yes, we are unsure, unstable, and afraid. However every so often we try to look up and understand that not everything is so absurd and destined for dissolution. Teilhard de Chardin, a renowned Jesuit scholar among the mentors of Pope Bergoglio, said that "the best always ends up happening and the future is better than any past." Idiocy, one might say after reading the news of Nice, Dhaka, Istanbul, and Baton Rouge... A brilliant idea instead would be to think of raising our gaze from the screens of our phones. Christians cannot forget hope, then they would not be Christian. However, perhaps everyone is called to hope.
18/07/2016 by Michele Zanzucchi
source: Città Nuova