Last night again I stayed up late watching amazing young people engage in sports. And again I was heartened to hear them tell not only of their joy at winning medals but also of their gratitude for the support of their teams, their coaches and all others who have supported them in their efforts. They also spoke of the privilege of representing their country at the Olympics – just being there, in such a “world community” as indescribable. In the face of all the negative events swirling around us daily in the news and in our neighborhoods, it is helpful to experience the worldwide cooperation that is evident in the contests in Rio.
While speaking of climate change and the devastation of earth that is part of the “downside” of life in our world these days, Meg Wheatley quoted a 22-year old college student in England who reminded me of the common spirit of the athletes when she spoke about our responsibility to the environment. This young woman, Fiona Mitchell, says:
I’d love to be able to just get on with my life and just enjoy it and do the things I want to do…And it’s really annoying that you can’t get on with your life because the planet is being destroyed. But I, personally, can’t just ignore it, because it’s a part of me. It’s part of all of us, you know. I think a lot of people don’t see the connections between things, the connections that run through everything. We have to take care of everything, because it’s all part of the same thing. (Turning to One Another, p. 109)
In all of this, I think too of my extended family, gathered this weekend for a 60th birthday celebration of one of the “old folks” – my generation. It’s always a profound joy to see “the kids” (now in their 20s and 30s) who have morphed into such amazing and interesting adults, having also chosen wonderful partners for their life-walk. Whether I am present or just vicariously living these events by telephone, I am moved to hope for the world, just as I have been this week at the Olympics and in England by Fiona Mitchell. The next generations have much to do to keep the world turning (as, by the way, so do those of us “baby boomers” still walking around) but perhaps with our support wonderful things lie in store for the beautiful babies being born right now. May we all hold this intention and determination in our hearts as we open ourselves to a new day and week.