One of the ways to avoid social responsibility for the results of our actions is to create mythological characters that have strength of their own.

During the hurricane season in the United States each storm receives a name.  The latest ones have been ‘Gustav’ and ‘Ike’.  Like gods from the Greek stories they are blamed for deaths, destruction and famine caused by their presence.

You can go to any news story and read things like: “Crews rescue nearly 2000 victims of Hurricane Ike”, “Ike Shutters 20% of U.S. Refining Capacity; Reserves Released”, or “Marathon Pledges $1.5 Million to Hurricane Ike and Gustav Relief”. Somewhere in the back of our minds we have started to make the connection between globalization, climate change and how this is affecting most parts of the world, yet we have also learned to think of things as beyond our control.

In fact anything that happens is more than what I can do or affect. The ‘system’ is unfair.  The ‘church’ is not grounded in reality.  ‘People’ are not trustworthy; one has to be careful about what to say or when.

As individuals we can always duck responsibility since after all the sum of things is far, far greater than poor little me.

It is peculiar than even in Bible reading and interpretation, when we read that we are wrestling “against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age”, that has nothing to do with me.  But if God uses me to do His work, am I working for others when I do not care about what happens?

If I stay at home, do not trash the planet, do not use plastic bags or bottled water and go through all the motions of a new ‘green’ minded me, is that enough, or by not being part of any kind of community building and organizing, am I helping build up the new generation of fancy named hurricanes, storm and famines?

Every time I fall into this kind of thoughts, I feel like praying and I remember the Lord’s Prayer.  It begins: OUR fatherÉ  and once more it hits me!  It does not say MY father.  It says OUR father. 

Maybe there is more to prayer than a lone prayer.  Maybe there is more to politics than just voting.  Maybe there is more to church than attending like going to a club.

Maybe, just maybe, like a child when he/she learns to differentiate by being with others, each one of us needs to be with others. We need to engage in getting excited about really knowing about others, especially if they are different from us. We need to be able to create new realities and affect even the big ones if we dare to be part of a community movement.

Meanwhile, I will go back to my chair, in my house; I will close the door and pretend that the entire bad world is outside and I can be in peace in here.

Shalom!