I have had a confluence of events and readings make me feel a lot better about the people I share the US and the globe with. I read that during the period that the eclipse was making its trek from Oregon to SC that there was no mass fighting, road rage, looting, etc… The reason this is surprising is that there were huge groups of people gathered together and it got dark. More than a half million people entered the state of Wyoming alone and none of the things we often see with large gatherings took place. I read in Time that the same was true on a global scale when the first moon landing occurred and in our country when the US won the Gold Medal in hockey at the 1980 Olympics. I am certainly not a trained psychologist and most acquaintances would probably suggest that I am closer to a “psycho” and most days I would agree. But, I think that just maybe these events have a few characteristics that make us less volatile or warrior like for a period of time.
First, they are free. Almost anyone could find a pair of eclipse viewing glasses being given away so safe viewing was available for the wealthy or poor, have’s or have not’s, urban or rural dwellers, or any other divisions we may associate with other happenings. I think the same has been true to a lesser degree during and after the horrific losses of life and property as a result of Hurricane Harvey. I think when we see that disaster does not differentiate between the divisions we often create or is existent, we somehow feel more connected. So, that would be to me the second idea. When we think we are connected by an event, positive or negative, we simply are nicer to each other. The sacrifices of those able to help those who need help have been huge. The small metro area I live in had one television station raise more than $1 per person of population in about a 16 hour period. The last thing, I come up with, is that the events are so large that we realize our smallness. But, in our smallness, we can do amazing things together. In our smallness, we become less concerned about how quickly traffic is moving or whether we have to wait in line at the gas pump.
The last thing I have been reading a lot about lately is the free GRACE provided by God through Jesus. If there is something that is free to every person on the planet, then I have to believe there is a potential that we can be more together as a people of every color, creed, tribe, sex, or any other difference that exists. I am known to find the black lining in every silver cloud, but in this, I see optimism. Someone will say my head is in the sand because the husky dictator of NK has WMD’s, or IS is popping up in different parts of the globe, or we don’t have enough clean water for 7+ billion people. I realize that there are, and have always been, huge risks in the world, but the same God that offers us free grace has always kept us from destroying humanity. I think that will only happen when he decides it is time and everything I know says we can not and will not know when that will be, so me worrying about it is illogical.