Friday, August 19, 2011

“Most of Us Can Read the Writing on the Wall; We Just Assume It's Addressed to Someone Else --Ivern Ball

Once there was a group of people who surveyed the resources of the world and said to each other, "How can we be sure that we have enough in hard times?  We want to survive whatever happens. Let us start collecting food and knowledge so that we are safe and secure when a crisis occurs."  So they started hoarding so much and so eagerly that other people protested and said:  "You have much more than you need, while we don't have enough to survive.  Give us part of your wealth!"  But the fearful hoarders said:  "No, no, we need to keep this in case of an emergency, in case things go bad for us, too, in case our lives are threatened."  But the others said:  "We are dying now; please give us food and materials and knowledge to survive.  We can't wait; we need it now."  Then the fearful hoarders became even more fearful, since they became afraid that the poor and hungry would attack them.  So they said to one another:  "Let us build walls around our wealth so that no stranger can take it from us."  They started erecting walls so high that they could not even see anymore whether there were enemies outside the walls or not!  As their fear increased they told each other:  "Our enemies have become so numerous that they may be able to tear down our walls.  Our walls are not strong enough to keep them away.  We need to put explosives and barbed wire on top of the walls so that nobody will dare to even come close gto us."  Now instead of feeling safe and secure behind their armed walls they found themselves trapped in the prison they had  built with their own fear."         --Henri Nouwen

A sobering story.  A story that mirrors much.  What do you see?


Jan said...

Profound and real to today's world.

Steve said...

Jan, I agree. When we look at the story from a corporate or global perspective, it's unsettling. Thanks.