Tuesday, April 12, 2011
What a Day Brings...
Jamie is a friend from the old neighbourhood, the old church group, the old high school, the old basketball team. He married Joanne, a contemporary of my wife's. He carved out a living for himself as a math teacher in Toronto. His wife, a physiotherapist. Before that the two of them traveled the world. And I do mean the world.
Jamie, we used to call him "Proc", is retired now and enjoying relatively good health. He remains a high school basketball referee and participates in Mokshu (Hot) Yoga. He finds all of that extreme stretching and meditating in the heat very beneficial. I learned most of this speaking to him at a basketball reunion last April. He was curious to catch up with me and Hilary, having heard also that we had had some sort of faith experience.
As a man of the world, he commented that he had found that people around this globe basically are after the same things. Friendship, respect, a family, a peaceful home, appreciative children, a meaningful job, enough to eat. This applied in India, Vietnam, Nepal, Ontario...wherever he found himself. It was evident that he was satisfied with life, the fruits of his own hard work and ambition. (I sensed a toning down of his one-time Christian focus for a more accommodating global view.)
This April, "Proc" was not able to join us at the reunion. He had a teaching assignment in Portugal...Portugal...Quaint, hospitable, colourful little country, now effectively bankrupt and pleading for global fiscal relief.
I wonder what he and his wife are seeing in all of this. Seniors afraid for their savings. Young couples worried for their jobs. Consumers wondering what their wage will buy tomorrow. Employers wondering where the markets will go, and trade partners. Public services scraped to the minimum. Children and students doubting what their teachers are saying about prospects after graduation. Parliamentarians questioning the point of it all. A pall and an ennui over the whole community. A bafflement. Who had ever expected this? Or thought that it was deserved?
The wake up call is happening in many forums. Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Iceland and probably many others still afraid to make disclosure.
Perhaps it is time to read again the Bible book of Ecclesiastes by King Soloman, questioning just what is fair or right "under the sun"? It would do well to read the last chapter of that book and then go to John's First Epistle. "Love not the world; neither the things of the world."