A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Lunch and Other Ways to Digest the Planet's Problems

Met up with an old student today for lunch. It's been 13 years since I last saw him. Happily enough about two years ago, he found me on Facebook.
During that time he's been to the States, back to Japan, changed his occupation a few times and now he's feeling restless. Japan doesn't seem to be where he wants to be right now and if I understood him correctly, there's a widespread feeling of pessimism in the country. He spent several minutes at the table working out his country's national debt which he reckoned was worse than either Greece or the US. There's also a general mistrust of the government and the media. He had no doubt that Toyota would do  a better job running the country than the ragtag bunch that heads their particular brand of parliament which seem to go through Prime Ministers more rapidly than most people change cars.
Pretty bleak stuff. All too big for me.
In a couple of generations, a country known for its well-oiled industrial complex is at the mercy of a disenchanted young generation and incompetent governance.

One of the things I enjoyed about my old job is meeting people from different countries and getting the inside story on what's really happening about the everyday issues that touch them. For most, it's really that simple -- (un)employment, family, their children's education, and to generally stay ahead of the pack.
But there are things that divide people too. Sharp differences and there's no use pretending otherwise. Unfortunately there's a false tolerance that pervades our world... a corrupting faux tolerance, that is imposed on us by the political class. A new kind of morality that has no patience for absolutes except its own.

I look around at the country that I call home and I see similar predicaments. It's amazing how much good can be undone in a matter of two or three years. Undoubtedly, one of the downsides of the democratic process.
Still it's a brutal but timely reminder that one should never put one's trust in chariots or horses or the intentions of men.

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